German Homeschool Family Raided by Police, Children Seized
On August 29, 2013, in what has been called a "brutal and vicious act," a team of 20 social workers, police officers and special agents stormed a homeschooling family's residence near Darmstadt, Germany, forcibly removing all four of the family's children, ages 7 to 14, the Christian Newswire reports. The sole grounds for removal were that the parents, Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, continued to homeschool their children in defiance of a German ban on home education. A Darmstadt family court judge signed the order authorizing the immediate seizure of the Wunderlichs' children on August 28. Citing the parents' failure to cooperate "with the authorities to send the children to school," the judge also authorized the use of force "against the children" if necessary, reasoning that such force might be required because the children had "adopted the parents' opinions" regarding homeschooling and that "no cooperation could be expected" from either the parents or the children. Michael Farris, chairman of the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Germany has continued to show its disregard for the human right to homeschool. "Germany has grossly violated the rights of this family," he said. "This latest act of seizing these four beautiful, innocent children is an outrageous act of a rogue nation." Petra Wunderlich said her heart was shattered. "We are empty," she said. "We need help. We are fighting but we need help." HSLDA has begun a nationwide campaign to urge American homeschoolers to call the German embassy and its consular offices in the United States to protest this blatant violation of Germany's human rights commitments.