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2/20/01 10:39:13 AM
Christopher J. Klicka, Esq., Senior Counsel of HSLDA
Home Schoolers in Brazil Need Your Help

From the HSLDA@Capitol Hill E-lert Service...

February 20, 2001

A few months ago, Home School Legal Defense Association received an
urgent plea from a family in Brazil asking us to help them to
legalize home schooling there. The Carlos Coelho family has been
quietly home schooling for the last 10 years in Brazil. Carlos is a
federal prosecutor who decided to boldly seek recognition for his
home school. He said many people home school in Brazil but they are
underground since it is not officially recognized.

Carlos Coelho explained, "The laws in Brazil are slightly less harsh
than the ones in Germany considering school life. The peaceful nature
of Brazilians does not preclude the possibility of Brazilian HS
pioneers suffering the same constraints as their German counterparts.
With this in mind, we are asking for international help to bring
acceptance of HS to Brazil and that it would serve as a model of
peaceful change."

In Brazil, the compulsory attendance law (ages 7 to 14) is a federal
law and the federal Council of Education can issue a policy to allow
or prohibit home schooling. Carlos submitted a petition
9#23001000301/00-37 through his state government (Goias) requesting
the federal Council of Education to recognize home schooling.

HSLDA alerted home school leaders around the U.S. to contact Brazil's
Federal Council of Education and urge them to support home schooling.
Unfortunately, although these efforts won over some of the council,
the majority ruled that the Coelho family could no longer home
school—and then proceeded to prohibit home schooling for everyone in

Requested Action
Mr. Coelhos is appealing his case through the courts, but he needs
vocal support from U.S. home schoolers. Please call, write, or e-mail
the Brazilian embassy on behalf of home schooling parents in Brazil
with this message:

"Innocent home school families are being persecuted in Brazil, such
as the Carlos Coelhos family (petition 9#23001000301/00-37). A
parent's right to direct the education of his children is a
fundamental right that should be protected. Home schooling works, and
we urge the government to officially legalize home schooling in

In letters or e-mails, we encourage you to rephrase this message in
your own words and include a few paragraphs describing the benefits
of home schooling to your own family.

Your entire family can participate—this can be a great educational
opportunity for your children! Not only will it demonstrate to them
the importance of the freedoms we enjoy in the United States, but it
also provides them with an opportunity to help those in less
fortunate circumstances.

Contact Information
Embassy of Brazil
3006 Massachusetts Avenue, NW
Washington DC 20008
Telephone: (202) 238-2700
Fax: (202) 238-2827

In the past, U.S. home schoolers have had similar opportunities to
help struggling families in other countries, and as a result of
writing and calling foreign embassies, have seen some dramatic

South Africa: two home school parents were freed from prison and,
eventually, home schooling was legalized.

Germany: a case against a home school family was dropped.

Ireland: home visit legislation was defeated.

You can make a difference.

-Christopher J. Klicka, Esq.

Home School Legal Defense Association
P.O. Box 3000
Purcellville, Virginia 20134
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