NewsWed Dec 23, 2009 - 12:15 pm EST
Swedish Government Seizes Child from Home Schooling Family
GOTLAND, Sweden, December 23, 2009 (LifeSiteNews.com) — A Christian home schooling family could permanently lose custody of their only child simply because they home-school. Attorneys with the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF) and the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) are joining forces as legal advisors to the family in order to persuade the Swedish government to return the seven-year-old child to his parents.
“Parents have the right and authority to make decisions regarding their children’s education without government interference,” said ADF Legal Counsel Roger Kiska, who is based in Europe. “This is about a socialist government trying to create a cookie-cutter child in its own image. Without help, the parents in these cases are really powerless since the system is so one sided.”
Swedish authorities forcibly removed Dominic Johansson from his parents, Christer and Annie Johansson, in June of last year from a plane they had boarded to move to Annie’s home country of India. The officials did not have a warrant nor have they charged the Johanssons with any crime. The officials seized the child because they believe home schooling is an inappropriate way to raise a child and insist the government should raise Dominic instead.
“It’s one of the most disgraceful abuses of power we have ever witnessed,” said HSLDA attorney Mike Donnelly. “The Swedish government says it is exercising its authority under the U.N. Convention on the Rights of the Child in their unnecessary break up of this family. In addition, the Swedish Parliament is considering an essential ban on home schooling. We have heard that other home-schooling families in Sweden are having more difficulty with local officials. We fear that all home-schooling families in that country are at risk.”
Swedish social services initially limited visitation to the child to two hours per week but now have curtailed that to one hour every fifth week and no visit at all for Christmas because the social workers will be on vacation.
On Dec. 17, a Swedish court ruled in Johansson v. Gotland Social Services that the government was within its rights to seize the child. They cited the fact that Dominic had not been vaccinated as a reason to remove him permanently from his parents and also claimed that home-schoolers do not perform well academically and are not well socialized. The ordeal has left the child and his parents traumatized.