Education, Government - ECHR Rules Against Home Schoolers
The European Court of Human Rights (ECHR) has ruled that authorities did nothing wrong in taking four children into care because their religious zealot parents refused to send them to school.
The Wunderlich family from Darmstadt insisted on home schooling their four children, even though Germany explicitly bans the practice. The parents said claimed they had the right to protect the children from "undesirable influences" in the outside world. Authorities took the children into custody for a few weeks in 2013 in order to protect their right to education, and protect their right to grow up to be capable of living in society.
But the Wunderlights claimed that was a violation of their parental rights under Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights. With the help of American home schooling activists, they took their case to the ECHR in Strasbourg.
But the judges ruled that the authorities were reasonable in assuming the parents had "endangered their children by not sending them to school". The ruling read, "Based on the information available at the time, the domestic authorities had reasonably assumed that the children were isolated, had had no contact with anyone outside of the family, and that a risk to their physical integrity had existed."
The family is considering an appeal to the Grand Chamber of the ECHR.