Posted on Dec 16 2009 in International Homeschooling by
It’s easy to take our freedoms for granted — this article reminds us we live in a world that clearly recognizes the importance of training the next generation and wants to take that responsibility from parents. Please take a moment to pray for our brothers and sisters in Germany, that God would keep them strong and win the battles for them. – Katherine
Note: More details can also be found at this LifeSiteNews.com article: http://www.lifesitenews.com/ldn/2009/dec/09121108.html
The Salzkotten 8, Salzkotten, NorthRhineWestphalia, 10 December 2009
The attack against Christian families seeking to have some input into the
education their children receive in Germany is continuing. A number of
Russian-German families in an elementary school in this community are
withholding their children from attending Sex education classes. They have
also withheld their children from participating in a theater play, My Body
Belongs to Me, that teaches the children how to engage in sex.
There are 8 families involved. Each father of these families will be sent to
prison. The father of the one family was the first. He has spent 7 days in
prison and will be released tomorrow.
The state has fined these families several times, and the fines continue to
accrue. This is not a normal punitive fine but rather a special fine called
Bussgeld (literally called repentance money) that is designed to show
contrition for a wrong behavior on the part of the person being fined. The
time spent in prison does not count toward paying off the fine.
The Russian-German families refuse to pay their fines because by so doing
they would admit their guilt of a wrong behavior. Prison is all about
forcing them to comply — first to pay their fines and second to comply
with compulsory school attendance, which includes attendance and
participation in all classes.
Schuzh and IHRG Attorneys Gabriele and Armin Eckermann are acting as these
families legal advisors.
European Director, IHRG
Additionally from Joel Thornton, President, IHRG:
This type of persecution from German government officials against the
Salzkotten 8 shows how committed the German system is to punishing home
school families and others who do not comply with the compulsory education
laws, even when they are only removing their children from a single clearly
Unlike American officials, German officials do not recognize the right of
parents to opt their children out of offensive classes such as sex education
which overrides the parents’ beliefs or desires for their own children.
One of the reasons for this is that German officials view the children as
belonging to the State, particularly during the time they are in school.
The IHRG has decided to take a more radical approach to the situation in
Germany. Early next year, January or February, we will be filing a civil
law suit on behalf of a number of home school families to try and force the
court to recognize the rights of parents to control the education of their
children. We will not continue to only react to these forceful actions by
state officials against these families.
To my knowledge, this is the first time these families have been public
about the persecution they are facing.
Please pray for the Salzkotten 8 families in this time of persecution.