Friday, March 31, 2006

Hamburg update

In a previous post I stated that a homeschooling father from Hamburg has recently been jailed. This is not strictly true, as I found out when I spoke to the man in question, Andre Rudolph (pictured here with his wife and 5 of his children) today. His jail sentence, which will probably be for one week, is still upcoming.

Far from being beaten down and frightened by the decision, Andre is upbeat and positive about the whole thing. He stated that he would much rather do the jail time than send his children to school. This is obviously another case of a narrow-minded judge not being able to see the wood for the trees. Unlike the social workers who refused to take custody of the children away from the parents after meeting and interviewing the children (who are happy to be homeschooled) the judge who is throwing Andre into jail is rigidly adhering to the paradigm that not going to school is harming their wellbeing. He hasn't even spoken to the children. In Germany an 8 year old is regarded by the law as being capable of choosing which parent to live with in the the case of divorce but is not consulted as to how he or she wants to be educated. Talk about schizophrenic.

When I asked Andre how I could support him, he said "Just carry on homeschooling your kids. That's all the support I need." He hopes that his case could be a catalyst for positive change for German homeschoolers. For all of our sakes, I hope he's right.

No comments: