This is some jaw-dropping news:
In a political asylum case involving a German family that fled to the United States to be able to homeschool their children, the U.S. Justice Department is arguing that the freedom to choose to educate one’s own children is not a fundamental right.
The case, Romeike v. Holder, is now in the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a legal brief for the case, Justice Department lawyers argue that Germany did not violate the Romeike’s human rights because the ban on homeschooling is a ban for all, not any specific group. Since German law does not prevent, for instance, only evangelical Christians from homeschooling, the Romeike’s are not being persecuted for a religious reason, the Justice Department says.
Germany has a universal ban on homeschooling. The actual policy is stated in the German Constitution, Art. 6 § 2: “The care and upbringing of children is the natural right of parents and a duty primarily incumbent upon them. The State shall watch over them in the performance of this duty.” The policy is further explained under Art. 7 § 1: “The entire school system shall be under the supervision of the state.” (source: Acton Institute). The United States Justice Department, in arguing against the political asylum claim for the Romeike family, is agreeing with this policy.
In other words, Eric Holder is speaking on behalf of the Obama administration (and in essence our nation) and saying not only do parents have no right to choose their children’s education, they also must submit to the supervision of the state and comply with compulsory requirements.
What happens in this case could very well affect the rights of Americans later on. It comes down to a basic philosophical argument – is it incumbent upon the state to educate children? Remember, the Department of Education in our federal government was not created until 1979, and education laws are generally left to the states. It has been clear, though, that in the latter half of the 20th century in particular, there has been a push to change the way education is administered. If parents are left out of the equation – if they are denied the opportunity to determine what education is best for their children – we will find we do not recognize our nation.
We are not Germany, but it seems Holder & Co. would be hard-pressed to admit as much.