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10/24/2003 10:22:58 AM
Home School Legal Defense Association
Urgent Alert--The Netherlands Needs Your Help Immediately To Legalize Home Schooling

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From the HSLDA E-lert Service...
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October 24, 2003

Dear HSLDA Members and friends,

On October 30th, homeschooling will be debated in the Netherland's
parliament. They will either direct the Minister of Education to
crack down on homeschooling (which the Minister wants to do) or
legalize homeschooling.

The Netherlands Home School Association (NHSA) believes your calls
and e-mails will likely make the difference on whether homeschooling
will survive in Holland.

Right now, most members of parliament do not think the issue is very
important because it only effects 50 families that are legally
homeschooling. But there are hundreds of others underground waiting
for relief.

Will you take a few minutes and help "the least of these" who are
requesting our assistance? Remember, in the past, your calls and e-
mails helped release a homeschool family from jail in South Africa, a
homeschool court case to be dismissed in Germany, harmful homeschool
legislation defeated in Ireland and the Czech Republic and much more.

ACTION REQUESTED

There are three places to send a copy of your e-mail listed below to
make this grassroots effort a success.

Please give the Education Committee in the Dutch Parliament, the
Minister of Education, and the Dutch embassy this message:

"Please legalize homeschooling in the Netherlands. One of the most
basic human rights that every free nation must recognize, is the
right of parents to choose the education and training of their
children. Homeschooling is producing thousands of productive and
successful adults. Homeschooling works and should be protected." You
can also give some general information about the success of your
homeschool.

Deliver the message to:

1) The Education Committee of the Dutch Parliament which will be
meeting to debate homeschooling on October 30th. E-mail:
cie.ocw@tk.parlement.nl.

2) The Minister of Education, Maria van der Hoeven at info@minocw.nl.

(A copy to the Netherlands Home School Association is important, home-
education@xs4all.nl, so that they can make a compilation of your
messages and present them to the Dutch press).

3) Call Ambassador Boudewijn van Eenennaam at the Dutch embassy (202)
244-5300 or via e-mail was@minbuza.nl


BACKGROUND

In the Netherlands home education as such is currently not a legal
option. Home schooling parents may try to get an exemption from
school registration, but only for deeply felt religious or
philosophical reasons. However, these exemptions are recognized with
great reluctance, for children are not considered to be educated
effectively without public school attendance. Many are denied. Once a
child has attended a school even this option is barred.

Now only the parents of about a 100 children have been able to avoid
this trap to secure their freedom. Many more families would like to
home-educate their children but are not able to get their way without
years filled with court cases and child protection investigations.

Since some court cases have been won rather unexpectedly by home-
educators this year, Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Minister of
Education, wants to make life even more difficult for them. Despite
the fact that the current law does not consider home-education to be
an effective option compared with institutional schooling, she wants
to put homeschoolers under tight educational supervision. The
Education Committee of the Second Chamber, the Dutch House of
Representatives, will debate her plan October 30, at 10.00 AM.

The Netherlands Home School Association sent us this plea, "We, a
group of home-educating parents in the Netherlands, want home-
education to become a legal option, its efficacy recognized by the
authorities, and most of all we want parents to exercise a free
choice for and with their children without unnecessary state
interference.

"That is why we ask for your help. We know some members of parliament
sympathize with us, after receiving tens of pages of arguments
against the Minister's view, but all this input has come from a small
group of activists so far.

"So, after delivering lots of research and different legislative
possibilities we need a lot of your messages to reach the hearts of
those Members of Parliament! Let them find out that home-education
has grown to a worldwide grass-roots movement of responsible
families!"

Thank you for assisting the homeschool movement in the Netherlands!

Sincerely,

Chris Klicka
HSLDA Senior Counsel

* This e-mail is being sent to HSLDA members over a period of four
business days



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