German family appeals for right to home educate
Published 01 May 2009 | Anne Thomas
A German family has appealed to the European Court of Human Rights after losing a court battle to home educate their children.
Eduard and Elisabeth Elscheidt decided that they wanted to home educate after their 11-year-old daughter was required to attend a stage play which dealt with sex education in a way they felt was contrary to their faith.
The Elscheidts objected to the play, “My Body Is Mine”, because it taught that so long as something felt good sexually it was moral.
Roger Kiska, an attorney with the Alliance Defense Fund's European office, has taken up the Elsheidts' cause.
He said, "The family, the Elscheidt family, believe that this was contrary to their faith," reports One News Now.
"They did a lot of research on the governing law in Europe as well as international law coming from the United Nations documents, and they determined that since this was so contrary to their faith and that it would do damage to their ability as parents to raise their children according to that faith, that they would teach their child at home on this issue and only this issue."
The family was subsequently given a heavy fine for breaking German law, which prohibits home education, and have now taken their case to the European Court of Human Rights.
Kiska claims the family have a good chance of winning their appeal. He said, "It's pretty clear that states are not allowed to indoctrinate their children, and that parents have the ultimate right in raising their child according to their own religious and philosophical convictions."
The Romeike family from Germany has also fallen foul of the country’s tough line on home schooling. They are currently seeking asylum in the USA on the grounds that they have been persecuted for home schooling because of their faith.
The family fears that if they are sent back to Germany the father will be arrested and the children taken away by the state. They have already been forced to pay substantial fines. The Home School Legal Defense Association is dealing with their case.