Three United States Congressmen recently met with German Ambassador Peter Ammon to discuss the importance of the freedom to home school.
Representatives Daniel Webster (R-FL), Tim Walberg (R-MI) and Randy Hultgren (R-IL) sat down with Ammon in light of Germany’s restrictions against homeschooling and its punishment of those who do not send their children to state schools. The meeting was organized by Rep. Marlin Stutzman (R-IN).
“It was a very productive meeting,” stated Rep. Webster, according to a news release from the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “It went very well, and Ambassador Ammon was very cordial. We all agreed to maintain open lines of communication as we move forward.”
Reports state that in addition to explaining their personal experiences with homeschooling—as all three Congressmen home school their children—they all also expressed concerns about the plight of the Wunderlich family under the German court system.
As previously reported, approximately 20 social workers, police officers and special agents swarmed the home of Dirk and Petra Wunderlich last August and forcefully removed all their children. A family court judge had signed an order that day authorizing officials to immediately seize the Wunderlich’s children for failing to cooperate “with the authorities to send the children to [public] school.”
In September, following a court hearing about the matter, the Wunderlich children were returned to their parents after Dirk and Petra agreed to send them to a state school. However, even after the children began attending school, they were still considered to be in the custody of the government.
In December, attorneys for the Wunderlich family asked Judge Marcus Malkmus to return custody of the children to the parents since they have obeyed orders to send them to school. They also requested that the family be permitted to move to France, where homeschooling is legal. Malkmus refused both requests, characterizing homeschooling as a “straightjacket” for children.
Hultgren said that he brought his children to the meeting with Ammon to demonstrate how homeschooling had benefited his family in the United States.
“If this is the product of homeschooling, then I’m with you,” Hultgren quoted Ammon as stating.
HSLDA applauded the Congressmen for taking a stand on behalf of German families who desire the liberty to teach one’s children at home.
“We are incredibly grateful to representatives Webster, Walberg, Hultgren, and Stutzman,” said President Michael Farris. “These men used their personal stories—including their fight for home school freedom years ago when they were state legislators—to urge Germany to give all parents the freedom to educate their children at home. This freedom is one that we in the United States hold so dear, and it is a freedom that we believe to be a universal human right.”