European homeschool ruling 'ignores' parents' rights

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By David Roach - Posted at Baptist Press:

STRASBOURG, France (BP) -- A European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) ruling to uphold Germany's homeschool prohibition has been called a matter of concern for "anyone who cares about freedom."

The ECHR, based in Strasbourg, France, ruled Jan. 10 that Dirk and Petra Wunderlich's human rights were not violated when German officials forcibly removed their four children from the family home near Darmstadt, Germany, for three weeks in 2013. At issue was the Wunderlichs' refusal to stop homeschooling.

A German court previously determined the children's level of education "was not alarming" and they did not face a risk of physical harm at home, according to the ECHR's ruling. Still, the Wunderlichs have no right to homeschool under the European Convention on Human Rights, the ECHR said.

Paul Coleman, executive director of Alliance Defending Freedom International, a legal organization that represents the Wunderlichs, said the ruling "ignores the fact that Germany's policy on homeschooling violates the rights of parents to educate their children and direct their upbringing.

"It is alarming to see that this was not recognized by the most influential human rights court in Europe," Coleman said according to an ADF release. "This ruling is a step in the wrong direction and should concern anyone who cares about freedom."
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