Germany has a sinister past that it can't seem to get away from. I sympathize in a way, being a white American blamed for Slavery that ended over a century ago, but I think a few more years have to go by before we keep reminding them of the Nazi era.
Especially with aspects like the following. Before Hitler came to power, German parents would often educate their own kids or send them to religious schools. However, when the Nazis took over, they outlawed home schooling and shut down the religious schools. Why? Because they were not doing it right, they were inculcating the "wrong" cultural values, and would not keep up with modern scientific advancements and progress.
After the Nazis were defeated and Germany rebuilt, this particular policy... was left in place, mostly. The religious schools came back, but the home schooling was still outlawed. You cannot keep your kids home and teach them yourselves.
Now, home schooling varies in its results, like all education systems, but for the most part, home schooled kids outperform those from public schools, and usually by a pretty wide margin. So this isn't really a question of how well the children turn out, or what their education is going to result in, but rather a continuation of exactly the same mindset of the Nazis (see previous post on this for more details): your children are getting the wrong kind of education, no matter how well they do.
This isn't about quality of education so much as the cultural influence behind the education. Its about worldview and politics more than knowledge. Your child may be able to add and spell and understand things, but they do it the wrong way.
Now, some parents are fleeing Germany so they can home school their kids the way they believe is proper. I think most people would agree that one of the most basic rights as a parent is to raise your children as you see fit, as long as you aren't causing them lasting physical trauma. Maybe you're weird or wrong, but that's your right.
But when it comes to education, some disagree not because of some problem with parenting, but because of a problem with the outcome of that education. Your children are being raised thinking crazy stuff like respect elders, understand and honor tradition, and fear God. This cannot be allowed.
So we have this bit of news, a case where the Romeike family fled to the United States because they wanted to home school their child, and for now at least, that's still legal in the US (and increasingly being done). They requested asylum on the grounds that their civil right to raise and educate their child was being violated in Germany and that they would face prosecution upon return.
And this isn't a slap on the wrist. Germany's government will take their children away and put the Romeike parents into prison for the crime of not sending their kids to public schools. How well the children are educated is utterly meaningless to the German government, only that they aren't controlling the education. Roger Kimball explains how it works in Germany:
Things are different in the Fatherland of Germany, where a judge recently ordered that parents may not have custody of their children because “the family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”The judge in question in that German case admitted the kids were well-educated and socially well-adjusted, but he still ruled in this manner. An American immigration judge granted the Romeikes asylum. The Obama administration is trying to get them deported. Kevin D. Williamson writes in the National Review Online:
Got that? Let me repeat it just in case. A German judge took children away from their parents because “he family might move to another country and homeschool, posing a ‘concrete endangerment’ to the children.”
In August, 20 armed police, equipped with a battering ram just in case, arrived at the door of this Darmstadt family and forcibly took four children, ages 7 to 14.
The Obama administration, which in other notable areas of immigration law has enacted a policy of “discretion” regarding deportations, took the Romeike family to court to have its asylum protections revoked, and succeeded in doing so. The family has appealed to the Supreme Court, which has ordered the Obama administration to respond to the Romeikes’ petition, but the administration has so far refused to do so.Williamson is doing a bit of subtle humor here with the "discretion" line. This is the same Obama administration which refuses to deport illegal immigrants, for example, but this particular family has got to go.
And as Williamson notes, this is not unusual on the left. Hatred of homeschooling and even admiration of governments that crush and repress it are not uncommon on the left, because of the cultural and political results of home schooled kids. These radicals are raising children without the proper level of PC indoctrination, white guilt, Howard Zinn-written history, and hatred of religion and parental authority.
And there's another level to this. Home schooled kids are a step away from central government control of your lives. Each bit of independence people have in their families is a bit the government has no power over, and cannot use that power to control or manipulate behavior and culture. If you believe that the right-thinking people should have enough power to make sure everyone does what you consider right and proper, then people who avoid that power are a problem and even a threat to your utopian dream.
I'd be more willing to find other motivations behind the Obama administration's actions such as a desire to be friendly to another nation or skepticism of true basis for asylum, but his approach toward other immigration cases makes that exceedingly difficult. His own aunt, for example, has zero reason to be allowed to stay in the country (other than being a black woman who is related to the president), and those likely millions of illegal immigrants the Obama administration is declining to prosecute or deport have zero reason to stay, and are in fact here illegally.
So the only conclusion seems to be "yeah, I hate home schoolers too, here, stick it to them." The Romeikes have appealed to the Supreme Court, which has ordered the Obama Administration to respond, but so far the president has declined. And why would he? He can simply ignore the court when he chooses, there are no consequences to his repeated violation of the constitution and separation of powers.
At least, none for President Obama. The country on the other hand?
I believe home schooled kids are the last, best hope for the future of the country, and I suspect that's exactly what the Obama administration and his allies on the left believe too.