Human rights advocates are calling the case of a German homeschooling family "a critical human rights battle." On September 22nd, the Schmidt family of southern Bavaria in Germany will face a hearing in which government officials will decide if they may keep custody of one of their sons.
Hans and Petra Schmidt have been teaching their children, Josua, 16, and Aaron, 14, for more than nine years in an attempt to shield them from what they hold to be a hostile moral and heavily secularised environment in German public schools. To date the Schmidts have been forced to pay nearly 13,000 Euros (US $18,300) in home schooling fines and have had a lien placed on their home by the government.
But worse than fines is the threat by the Jugendamt, or Youth Office, to remove one of their children from the home entirely. […] It is commonly held by the German authorities that homeschooled children are socially maladjusted.
[…] Germany is undertaking a crackdown on homeschooling families who face crippling fines, the seizure of their children and even prison for continuing to teach their children at home. In 1938, Hitler's Germany outlawed homeschooling which ban is one of the few bills introduced by the Nazi regime that is still on the books today. […] Last year the parents of a homeschooling family in the state of Hesse, Juergen and Rosemarie Dudek, were each sentenced to three months in prison. In 2007 the case of the Busekros family became internationally notorious when 15 year-old Melissa Busekros was abducted by government officials, aided by 15 police officers, and locked up in a child psychiatric unit because she had been homeschooled.