German Homeschool Student Placed in Foster Care, Parents Not told Location
By Gudrun Schultz
NUREMBERG, Germany, February 20, 2007 (LifeSiteNews.com) - A 15-year-old girl, seized from her family home in a dramatic police raid over accusations her parents were home schooling, has been placed in foster care, reported WorldNetDaily.com earlier today. The girl’s parents have not been told where she is being held.
Melissa Busekros was home schooled by her parents after she began having trouble with two of her subjects in school. Her four younger siblings are in the German school system. Authorities barged into the Busekros house Feb. 1, with 15 members of the police force at hand and seized the girl. She was then placed in a psychiatric ward for assessment after it was decided she had a “phobia” against public school.
Home schooling was outlawed in Germany under Adolf Hitler—the original edict banning at-home instruction has been resurrected over the past decade, with accelerating persecution of families attempting to keep their children out of the mainstream curriculum.
In January 2005, county education director Heinz Kohler told a group of Christian parents desiring to home school, “you and your children are not living in isolation on some island but rather in an environment posing intra- and extracurricular situations where you’ll have to accept that your world view will be curtailed.”
Home schooling could not be allowed, Kohler stated, because, “children should not be encapsulated or kept apart from the outside world. In these cases, the parents’ rights to personally educate their children would prevent the children from growing up to be responsible individuals within society…”
A statement by the International Human Rights Group, an organization working to get international pressure directed against the German government on the issue, released a statement on recent developments in the case.
“Melissa called her parents today to tell them she was moved to another mental ward. She was then moved to a ‘clearing house’ and finally to a foster family; but she was unable to tell them where she is now,” the statement said.
The IHRG has been working with the girl’s family and lawyer to achieve a compromise with the state social workers. A five-hour court hearing held last Friday failed to resolve the situation after the social workers rejected the compromise presented by the girl’s parents and the judge.
“This is a precedent that’s going to affect not just Germany,” Joel Thornton, president of the IHRG, told WorldNetDaily. “This is an extreme case, even for Germany, but it won’t be extreme any more if they get away with it.”
Melissa’s parents began tutoring her in math and Latin at home when she began having trouble keeping up with the subjects in school, according to the WND report. When school officials discovered her parents’ involvement, the girl was expelled. The family then began home schooling her, and the school took the family to court.
The court ordered that the girl be brought into custody, by force if necessary, stating, “The relevant Youth Welfare Office is hereby instructed and authorized to bring the child, if necessary by force, to a hearing and may obtain police support for this purpose.”
Home school organizations are requesting that supporters contact German officials to express concerns and encourage a quick and just resolution to the situation.
To respectfully contact German officials:
Youth Welfare Office
Director: Edeltraud Höllerer
Tel. +49 9131 86-2844
Fax +49 9131 86-2438
Or [email protected]
Local Court Erlangen
Tel. +49 9131-782 01
Fax +49 9131/782-361
(No Email address available)
Minister of Justice in Bavaria
Tel. +49 89 5597 1799
Fax +49 89 5597 3580
Email: [email protected]
See previous LifeSiteNews coverage:
POLICE CRACKDOWN ON HOME-SCHOOLING IN GERMANY
Action Call as German Homeschooled 15-year-old Sentenced to Child Psychiatry Unit
German School Official Declares "Homeschooling Illegal"