.- In August 2013, a group of 20 police officers and social workers stormed the home of Petra and Dirk Wunderlich and took away their children.
Their offense: homeschooling.
The Wunderlich’s children were returned to them, but their legal situation remains precarious, as the German government continues to criminally punish families who homeschool with fines or even imprisonment.
Homeschooling has been illegal in Germany since 1918, though in recent years the policy has raised questions and concerns with human rights groups who say it is an infringement on the right to family life.
The European Court of Human Rights has agreed to review the Wunderlichs’ case and to look at whether Germany’s actions breached the right to family life, which is protected under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. The court ruled in 2006 that there is no right to homeschooling.
“I sincerely hope the European Court of Human Rights will reaffirm that the state has no right to abduct children from their family just because they are being home-schooled,” Dirk Wunderlich, the father of the family, told legal group Alliance Defending Freedom.
“Our youngest daughter was only four years old when the authorities broke into our home and took our children without warning. She couldn’t stop crying for 11 days. Her older sister hasn’t laughed since this incident. We chose to educate our children at home, because we believe this to be the best environment for them to learn and thrive,” he said.
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