American Homeschooling Missionary Family Allowed To Stay In Germany
By Thaddeus M. Baklinski
UEHLFELD, Germany, April 10, 2008 (LifeSiteNews.com) - Clint Robinson, his wife Susan and their three children have been granted permission to legally remain in Germany through to the end of this year, and to continue to homeschool.
A communiqué to LifeSiteNews.com from Joel Thornton, president of the International Human Rights Group, said that Dr. Ronald Reichert, IHRG attorney in Germany, has received notice from the German court that the informal settlement has now been enforced.
As previously reported by LifeSiteNews.com, the Robinson family was denied a residency permit by authorities in Germany after it was discovered that the Robinsons were Baptist missionaries and were homeschooling their children. The Robinsons had sold all their possessions in the United States and relocated to Germany for the purpose of starting a Baptist church in March of 2007.
Negotiations by the International Human Rights Group (IHRG), an organization that has championed the rights of homeschooling families in Germany, convinced officials to postpone the deportation order and work for a settlement.
"We have been consulting with U.S. government officials in Germany as well as handling the administrative and legal case on behalf of the Robinson family," said Mr. Thornton.
The Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA), a U.S. homeschool advocacy organization, has also been instrumental in helping the Robinson family overcome the hurdles set up by the German bureaucracy. Schulunterricht Zu Hause, a homeschool defense organization started by HSLDA, filed an appeal with the Administrative Court in Ansbach which delayed the deportation order and gave time for the family’s advocates to work toward a solution.
"German officials appear to be more determined than ever to rid their country of influences that may contribute to the rise of what they call ‘Parallelgesellschaften,’ parallel societies," the HSLDA said in a statement on the Robinson’s situation. "Never mind that Germany has hundreds of thousands of genuinely truant youth hanging around street corners; school officials have determined that parents diligently educating their children at home are a greater danger to German society."
"The behavior of German authorities against families who homeschool goes against the very fiber of what free and democratic societies stand for - that governments exist to protect the rights of people not to take them away," Mike Donnelly, an attorney for the HSLDA, said. "In Germany it appears that the judicial, executive and legislative branches of government do not care to protect the human right of parents to direct the upbringing and education of their children which includes the right to homeschool - a view shared by nearly all other western civilized countries."
The report from Mr. Thornton indicated that the IHRG will continue to work with the Robinson’s to help them move to another European country to continue their ministry and homeschool their children, by 2009.
Previous LifeSiteNews.com coverage:
German Court Denies Missionary Family Residence Visa over Homeschooling
Homeschooling Missionary Family Narrowly Avoids German Deportation for Now