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April 15, 2014

Homeschooling Congressmen Meet German Ambassador to Talk Freedom


Staff Attorney Mike Donnelly is HSLDA’s director of international relations. Read more >>

On April 3, 2014, U.S. representatives and homeschooling fathers Daniel Webster (FL), Tim Walberg (MI), and Randy Hultgren (IL) met with German Ambassador Peter Ammon to discuss the treatment of homeschoolers. They also conferred about the Wunderlich family who have been prevented from emigrating from Germany because a family court judge has not returned legal custody of the children on account of their homeschooling.

“It was a very productive meeting,” said Representative Webster. “It went very well, and Ambassador Ammon was very cordial. We all agreed to maintain open lines of communication as we move forward.”

Representatives Webster, Walberg and Hultgren were able to explain their own experience with homeschooling, how it has benefited their families and how millions of American families enjoy this freedom. Representative Hultgren brought his homeschooled children to the meeting. Representative Hultgren recalls Ambassador Ammon’s comments that “if this is the product of homeschooling, then I’m with you.”

U.S. Rep. Marlin Stutzman, also a homeschooling father, helped set up the meeting.

Toward Freedom

The meeting was a product of years of effort to bring attention to the plight of German homeschoolers and to advance homeschooling freedom in Germany. HSLDA’s strategy has been to create a conversation in Germany about homeschooling by encouraging our national leaders. And by advocating cases like the Romeike family’s, HSLDA also hopes to help German homeschoolers advance the discussion about homeschooling freedom in their country.

“We have been working closely with these members for several years,” said Will Estrada, HSLDA’s director of federal relations. “They and their staff have been incredibly supportive of our efforts to protect and advance homeschool freedom, both in the U.S. and in Germany. This meeting would never have taken place without their tireless dedication to homeschool freedom for all families.”

HSLDA Chairman Michael Farris, who also served as lead attorney for the Romeike case, expressed sincere gratitude for the work of these homeschooling fathers in Congress.

“We are incredibly grateful to representatives Webster, Walberg, Hultgren, and Stutzman,” said Farris. “These men used their personal stories—including their fight for homeschool 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.”

Friendly Gesture

HSLDA is also grateful to German Ambassador Ammon for agreeing to meet with these representatives. HSLDA Director of International Affairs Michael Donnelly explains that German officials have not always been so friendly.

“Previous German ambassadors have been less willing to meet to discuss the issue of homeschooling,” he said. “Although the German states, like in America, have the final say on educational policy, the federal government has some influence and homeschoolers in Germany need all the help they can get. If there is going to be change it will come through the legislative process in Germany. In order for that to happen the issue needs attention—meetings like this help get that kind of attention.”

HSLDA would like to encourage Ambassador Ammon to report back to Germany about his meeting favorably. Will you take a moment to thank him for meeting with these members of Congress? You might share how your family has benefited from homeschooling, and ask him and the German government to work to legalize homeschooling in Germany. You can contact the German ambassador online at or via regular mail at:

Ambassador Peter Ammon,
Embassy of the Federal Republic of Germany,
2300 M Street NW, Washington, DC 20037

Thank you for standing with us as your HSLDA continues to fight to advance the God-given liberty of parents to direct the education and upbringing of their children, both here in the United States, and around the world.

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