A family homeschooling safely in rural Tennessee may be forced to return to their native Germany, where the parents likely face huge fines and criminal penalties, and could lose custody of their five school-age children.
Uwe and Hannelore Romeike are looking to the 6th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals to give them permanent refugee status. But Attorney General Eric Holder is disputing their case, arguing Germany’s ban on homeschooling fails to violate the family’s fundamental rights.
The Romeikes fled Germany in 2008 after authorities fined them thousands in euros and forcibly took their children because they homeschool. In 2010, a U.S. immigration judge granted the Romeikes political asylum—the first time this status was granted based on compulsory schooling laws.
Uwe says the uncertainty they face now hardly compares to the fear of “waking up with the police at your front door, there to take your children … not knowing if you will ever get them back.”
The Romeike’s case has far-reaching implications: “Our own government is attempting to send [them] back,” said HSLDA’s Michael Farris. “Something important is being said about our own liberties as American homeschoolers.”
READ THE FULL ARTICLE from worldmag.com
I’m glad they found a home here in Tennessee and hope they will be allowed to stay.
UPDATE — March 2014 : “One day after the Supreme Court refused to review the court order that demanded their deportation to Germany, the Romeikes were informed by Department of Homeland Security that they could remain indefinitely in the United States where they can continue to homeschool their children.” (read more here)