Now (hat tip to Instapundit) we have a German couple seeking political asylum in the United States because they fear oppression in their home country, where home schooling has been illegal since 1938 (for the youngest of you, that was back when Nazi Germany was swallowing Austria and the Sudetenland part of Czechoslovakia).
MORRISTOWN, Tenn. - Homeschooling is so important to Uwe Romeike that the classically trained pianist sold his beloved grand pianos to pay for moving his wife and five children from Germany to the Smoky Mountain foothills of Tennessee.As noted, home schooling in Germany is a pretty limited option.
Romeike, his wife, Hannelore, and their children live in a modest duplex about 40 miles northeast of Knoxville while they seek political asylum here. They say they were persecuted for their evangelical Christian beliefs and homeschooling their children in Germany, where school attendance is compulsory.
Germany's approach to homeschooling is starkly different to the U.S. and other European countries. Homeschool students have been growing by an estimated 8 percent annually in the U.S. and as of 2007 totaled about 1.5 million.The Romeike family comes from Bietigheim-Bissingen, in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg, in Southwest Germany. Bietigheim-Bissingen is a city about half the size of Lowell, and not far from the American community of Kaiserslautern (K-town).
Only about 500 children in Germany are taught at home, experts estimate.
I sure hope our system grants asylum to this couple and their children. We are still a nation where people who want to be a little freer come to exercise that freedom. I like that about our nation and am proud to be an American because of it. We aren't perfect, but we work at providing people with the freedom to nudge us along toward that ultimate goal.
Regards -- Cliff