Full disclosure: I was homeschooled. My husband was not. We are choosing to homeschool our children.
Isn’t that a great thing? We can make that choice?
For now, at least. For now, our government still understands that parental rights with regards to education at least are something they can’t actually touch.
Oh, they try. Day by day, depending on the state in which one lives, our rights are being chipped away at, requiring us to register (our children, our curriculum, our attendance, etc), demanding that we have our children’s work reviewed by an employee of the exact school districts we are choosing not to attend.
I’m thankful that, for the time being at least, NJ is not one of these states. All that is required of us is that, should anyone care to actually bring a case against us, we can offer proof that we are “offering” our children an education that is on par with the grade they would be attending were they enrolled. “Offering.” So long as we’re offering them things that the state considers age-appropriate lessons on basic subjects, we’re good.
Unfortunately for some, the countries in which they live don’t seem to get this, like the Romeikes. Have you heard of them? They’re a family, from Germany, where homeschooling is against the law. They’ve come here, seeking asylum. You see, they believe in the American dream. Not the one where if you work hard you can have everything you want. No, they believed in the idea of America, that all men are created equal and have the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. They believe, as the founders did, that rights come from God and that the government is there to protect those rights, not hinder them, and they thought that in America, they’d be able to do just that: have liberty and pursue their idea of happiness. Apparently, they were wrong.
The government has denied this family’s petition for political asylum. They’re been living here since 2010, legally, following all the proper channels. They believed the system would work for them because they were using it. However, after over two years of living here, they’re petition for permanent residency status has been denied. If they return to Germany, their children may well be removed from their home. They will face fines and most likely criminal charges. All of this for doing what so many of us do here every day. All of this for taking an active role in their children’s education. All of this for, after reviewing their options, saying, “We don’t want that and we do want this.”
But they still have a chance. There is a petition on WhiteHouse.gov, and, whether you homeschool or not, if you support a parent’s right to choose, to be in control of their children’s education, you can sign it. It may give them a second chance to stay here and keep their children with them. Won’t you take a few moments to sign the petition on behalf of the Romeikes?