NORWAY — A homeschooled boy who was seized by Norwegian child welfare agents earlier this month has been returned to his parents until the stipulation that he be sent to school next week, and that the parents temporarily hand over their passports.
“We are very pleased to announce that Kai is back in his home with his family. We’re very happy to see him again,” Leif Kristiansen wrote to social media on Wednesday. “We had to consent to an agreement with conditions that are not completed until the 3rd of May. This is an exhausting process, but a small price to pay to get Kai back home.”
According to CTV News, those conditions include sending Kai to a new school next week and forfeiting their Canadian passports until May 3.
As previously reported, Kristiansen and his wife had pulled their 12-year-old son out of school last month because he was being bullied and school officials did not act to put an end to the mistreatment. They planned to homeschool Kai until they could find a better school for him to attend.
“We repeatedly said the school is not a good fit for our son, but they did not listen,” Kristiansen relayed to the Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA). “In the end, we were worried about his mental and physical health. So, in the new year, we notified the school and decided to temporarily homeschool until we agreed on a good school to transfer to.”
However, on Feb. 9, Barnevernet child welfare agents and police arrived at the Kristiansen’s home and sought to take Kai into custody pursuant an order. A video posted online showed Kai running away from officials, and being tackled as Terese Kristiansen called out, “Can somebody please help us?! Help!”
The family had lived in Canada for a time, and then returned to their home country of Norway. They said that they were disappointed with how the government treated them just because they wanted to keep their son safe and in a good environment.
“We had hoped that we would be welcomed in our own home country,” Terese Kristiansen stated. “But I am living a nightmare; I can’t believe what they did to my son.”
According to CTV News, Kai’s original school where he was being bullied did not provide approval for the Kristiansen’s to homeschool their son until they could transfer him elsewhere, which led to the child being seized.
“He didn’t have approval for homeschooling, even though we let them know and we followed the law,” Terese Kristiansen explained to the outlet. “It was a complete misunderstanding and it was a bit extreme to go this far.”
Barnevernet agreed to de-escalate the case, which had initially been marked as an emergency, during a recent court hearing.
The Kristiansen’s state that they are just glad to have their son home again.
“He just got back, so it will take some time to adjust,” Therese Kristiansen outlined. “He’s pretty upset after what the police did.”