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July 21, 2009

Signatures Needed to Oppose Restrictive Homeschool Legislation

Homeschooling freedom in Europe is under attack. England, Belgium, France, and Sweden are all faced with policies and/or legislation imposing severe restrictions on parents’ right to homeschool.

On June 15, 2009, the Swedish government released its draft for a new school law, which, if passed, would impose severe restrictions on parents wishing to homeschool their children.

Citing the European Convention on Human Rights, the law only allows parents to homeschool if the following three conditions are met:

  1. The home education program is considered to be a fully satisfactory alternative to the education otherwise available to the child according to what is prescribed in the law;
  2. Oversight of the home education program by the authorities is provided; and
  3. Extraordinary circumstances exist.

According to the proposed law, permission to homeschool can only be given for up to one year at a time, and permission will be immediately withdrawn if it can be assumed that the prerequisites (listed above) no longer exist.

Even more disturbing is the government’s written explanation of the legislation, which argues that because a child’s education should be “comprehensive and objective and thereby designed so that all pupils can participate, regardless of what religious or philosophical reasons the pupil or his or her care-takers may have … there is no need for the law to offer the possibility of homeschooling because of religious or philosophical reasons in the family.”

Thus, if this law passes, parents would not be able to homeschool because of their religious or philosophical beliefs!

The Swedish government is accepting comments about the law through October 1, 2009, when the consideration period closes. The final law will be presented to Parliament during the spring of 2010 and if passed, will take effect in 2011.

The Swedish Association for Home Education has officially been asked to provide input to the government—a small victory—but they are asking for our help.

Swedish homeschoolers need international support to show that Sweden, as a member of the international democratic community, cannot take such a position. As Sweden is often seen as the great social utopia of the world, it is important for Swedish homeschoolers to win this battle. Please consider helping by signing a petition protesting the law.

Action Requested

Visit the Swedish Association for Home Education website and sign the petition. You must use a valid email address. You will receive an email directing you to click on a link to validate your signature. To have an effect, signatures must be validated.

For more information about the law and further updates, visit HSLDA's Sweden homeschooling webpage. HSLDA will be posting updates on the progress of the efforts to stop this harmful legislation.