From the HSLDA E-lert Service:
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Date:
From:
Subject:

2/6/2002 4:06:19 PM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Czech home school freedom in jeopardy

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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Dear HSLDA Members and Friends,

Home schoolers in the Czech Republic are requesting our immediate
help--the freedom to home school in that country is in jeopardy.
Unless home schoolers around the world act now and e-mail key members
of the Czech Parliament, a highly restrictive bill may pass into law.
This is an opportunity for us to help "the least of these" as these
parents fight to defend and increase their freedom to train their
children.

REQUESTED ACTION:
Please take a moment and send an e-mail by following the directions
below, and we will then send your message to all 200 members of the
Czech Parliament. It is that easy. But the impact will be of vital
importance for the Czech home school families. Many parliament
members think home schooling is an obscure issue that no one cares
about, and they are poised to regulate home schoolers out of
existence.

SUGGESTED WORDING:
In your e-mail, include a paragraph or two about your successful home
school experience and then let parliament know you understand what is
about to happen to home schooling in the Czech Republic. Give them
this message in your own words. (We have been told the members of
parliament all can read English.)

"We realize you will be voting on a large education bill soon, a
portion of which will restrict the freedom to home school. Home
schooling is most successful when it is minimally regulated. It is
overly restrictive to the fundamental rights of home schooling
parents and children to require them to seek approval of the federal
government. The government should not dictate their curriculum or
require any certain teacher qualifications. The present age
limitations only allowing home schooling for the first five years of
schooling should be removed.

"Home schoolers on the average in America, score above the national
average in testing and are succeeding in all universities after 12
years of home schooling by parents with no special academic
qualifications. Home schooling works.

"Please amend the education bill pursuant to the recommendations of
Michal Semin, president of the Czech home school association."

SENDING YOUR MESSAGE:
Simply enter the address below in your Internet browser. This will
take you to a template where you can type in your name and message.
Your e-mail will then be automatically sent to all 200 members of the
Czech Parliament.

http://www.hslda.org/elink.asp?id=325

BACKGROUND:
Recently, I returned from a trip to the Czech Republic where I met
with Michal Semin, president of the Czech home school association.
Nearly all the home schoolers in the country are part of his
association. He described the uphill battle the home schoolers faced
to keep their freedom to teach their own children. He asked if we
could send out this alert because he believes the international
perspective will be well received. I also sent him 200 copies of home
school studies that he will personally deliver with his cover letter
to parliament members.

Home education in the Czech Republic is only temporarily legal--
pursuant to a governmental order that expires after a five-year
experiment--and strictly limited to the first five years of
elementary schooling, approximately ages 6-10. (This is the third
year of the experiment.) Existing education law simply describes
obligatory school attendance as the norm, with no mention of home
education.

Under the five-year law, every home schooling family must enroll in
one of three government-recognized schools, which minimally
"supervise" the home education program. The schools issue a
certificate of permission twice a year and the children have to be
tested. No federal agencies are involved in the process.

The Ministry of Education issued a new bill recently that continues
to limit home schooling to the first five years and adds a new set of
restrictions. The parents would have to first communicate with the
local education agency that supervises area schools and this agency
will decide if there are serious enough reasons for the child to be
home schooled. In the interview with agency officials, parents would
have to specify their reasons for choosing home education and other
private information regarding facilities, income, etc.

Michal Semin has talked to Petr Mares, Chairman of the Committee on
Education in Parliament. Petr thinks there is a possibility the bill
could be dismissed. But if it is not, he and his colleagues from the
center-right political parties will support Michal's proposed
changes.

PAST ASSISTANCE TO HOME SCHOOLERS IN OTHER COUNTRIES
In the past, United States home schoolers have had similar
opportunities to help struggling families in other countries, and as
a result of writing and calling foreign embassies, have seen some
dramatic results.

South Africa: Two home school parents were freed from prison and,
eventually, home schooling was legalized.
http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/SouthAfrica/default.asp

Germany: A case against a home school family was dropped.
http://www.hslda.org/hs/international/Germany/default.asp

Ireland: Home visit legislation was defeated.
http://www.hslda.org/courtreport/V16N5/V16N509.asp

You can make a difference. Please take time to write a short note.
(You can use this as an opportunity to teach your children geography,
history, and appreciation for freedom.)

Thank you for standing with us for family and freedom!

Sincerely,

Christopher J. Klicka
Senior Counsel

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