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December 14, 2012

Another Homeschool Victory Appealed by Government

Mike Donnelly
Staff Attorney Michael Donnelly is director of international affairs for HSLDA. He and his wife homeschool.

The case of a Jewish family, who recently won the right to homeschool in Sweden for religious reasons, has also been appealed by the Swedish government. The Namdar family’s case will be considered by the Supreme Administrative Court. The Swedish newspaper Metro shows rare support for the right to homeschool in Sweden in an interview earlier this month about the case.

Annelie Enochson, a member of the Christian Democrat party, states that if the Namdar victory is upheld, the ruling would bring Sweden closer into line with the UN Declaration of Human Rights.

“Many [families] want home schooling for other reasons [than religious motivation],” notes Enochson. “Maybe the kids have been bullied or have experienced this form of schooling in other countries that has been successful. Sweden is deviant in this respect compared to other countries.”

Favoring State Control

Yet the article also highlights the prejudice against homeschooling in favor of the state’s control over children and education. Helene Odenjung, member of the Liberal party, says that another favorable ruling would “open doors for stricter legislation” of homeschooling.

“I welcome the trial,” states Odenjung. “[Yet] it is very unfortunate if the court rules that one may be exempted from tuition and compulsory schooling for religious reasons. Legislation [about homeschooling] has already been tightened, but there is a risk that one cannot maintain the qualified teaching that everyone is entitled to.”

Mike Donnelly, director of international relations for HSLDA, welcomes the attention that has been given to the topic of homeschooling.

“I commend Ms. Enochson for her statements that recognize the fundamental role of parents and the family in the education and upbringing of children as a natural right,” Donnelly states. “The Johansson and Namdar families represent many other Swedish parents who long to be free to educate their children at home.”

 More Information

Berlin Declaration on parental rights and educational freedom (requires Adobe Acrobat Reader)