P.O. Box 3000, Purcellville, VA 20134
|For Immediate Release||Contact: Michael Farris Jr.|
|February 22, 2017||(540) 338-5600|
HSLDA Pledges Support for the Last Homeschooling Family in Sweden
PURCELLVILLE, Va.—The Home School Legal Defense Association has announced today that it is standing in support of a Swedish family that is being called the “last known homeschooling family in Sweden.”
Thomas and Marita Sandberg of Mörbylånga, Sweden, have endured threats, fines, investigations, and even public shaming as they continue to defend their right to teach their own children.
Jonas Himmelstrand, the President of the Swedish National Homeschool Association, said there is “intense” pressure on the family for their choice to homeschool. “The Sandbergs are determined to fight for their right to stay and homeschool peacefully in their home,” he said. “All investigations into the family demonstrate that the children are healthy, happy, socialized and well educated. Apparently the government just will not stop until all homeschoolers are gone from Sweden.” Like many homeschooling families from Sweden, Himmlestrand lives in exile in Finland to continue homeschooling.
Mike Donnelly, HSLDA’s Director of Global Outreach, has stated that HSLDA will not abandon the Sandbergs. “Homeschooling is not going away,” he said in an email sent to HSLDA members. “The Swedish government will not succeed in bullying this family out of their fundamental right to educate their children at home. The right of parents to decide how their children are educated is a fundamental human right. The Swedish government is showing its true colors by stubbornly refusing to allow families in Sweden the right to educational freedom. Home education is accepted in most European countries, but in recent years, there has been increasing pressure as governments continue to use school as a means of control.”
Donnelly also had a message for homeschoolers in the United States, saying that what is happening in Sweden and Germany was what many American homeschoolers faced in the early days of homeschooling. “The fight for freedom to homeschool may seem distant, but government repression is not constrained by national borders,” he said. “It is important that we keep the flame of freedom burning brightly by helping these brave people in Sweden.”