'Huge Setback' for Parents' Rights as European Court Rules Against German Homeschoolers
- We in the were disappointedwith the judgment
that the judgment hasupheld the blanket ban
that exists in Germanyagainst homeschooling.
It's a blanket ban that is backed up
with criminal penalties in some states
including the one in whichthe Wunderlichs live.
And they essentially, thecourt adopts the reasoning
of the German authorities,
they say, that this banis necessary to avoid
parallel societies coming into being.
And that the ban is necessaryso that the children
can learn tolerance,respect, assertiveness
and it's necessary to createa pluralistic society.
And the sad reality isthat in upholding the ban,
the Court has actuallyopposed those things.
The Court has created thesociety that's less pluralistic.
It told these children thatactually if you stand up
for what you believe, thenthe full force of the State
will come down on you.
It really ignored thefundamental parental rights
that guaranteed by international treaties.
And if you go back to a document that's
often described as theConstitution of the entire
human rights movement,the Universal Declaration
of Human Rights, it says thatparents have a prior right,
a prior right.
And the reason that was in there
because the parents have aright before anyone else,
before the State, andit's an inherent right
to direct the upbringing,to raise their children.
I mean, certainly our hopeis that the Wunderlichs
will be left to live their lives.
The children were subject to an assessment
and the authoritiesdetermined that they performed
in some areas above average,
in some areas below average.
In other words, probablylike most students
around the world.
And they were alsosubjected to an assessment
that they're not reallyin danger any way at home.
And that's the word theGerman government had used,
that the parents wereendangering the children.
And so on that basis,after the three weeks
of separation, those fourchildren were returned
to the family.
And we hope that that's theway that things will stay,
certainly, while this appealis in process over the coming.