German Home-School Parents Appeal Asylum Ruling
In extreme cases, such as one involving neo nazi parents, children have been removed from home schooling by authorities in the past, but should the U.S. grant political asylum to this family that claims anti-Christian persecution in Germany?
Police came three days later, but members of the family’s home schooling support group were there protesting and police left. Next the government began issuing fines, which eventually totaled about 7,000 euros, or more than $9,000.
The Romeikes decided to leave the country after Germany’s highest appellate court ruled in November 2007 in an unrelated case that, in severe situations, social services officials could remove children from their parents.
In 2008, they moved from Bissingen an der Teck in the state of Baden-Wuerttemberg to Morristown in eastern Tennessee, and applied for asylum.
The U.S. government said in court documents the Romeikes did not belong to any particular Christian denomination and described the parents’ objections to the government-approved schools as vague.
For instance, Uwe Romeike claimed a textbook “featured a story suggesting that `the devil can help you if you ask the devil, but God would not help you,’” the government said. But he could not recall the title of the story or its author.
Romeike also claimed the schools taught witchcraft based on a game played by classmates of his wife when she was in the seventh grade “that involved pushing chairs and glasses around, and dangling a pendulum.”
The family initially was granted asylum by U.S. Immigration Judge Lawrence Burman in Memphis in 2010. He concluded that “the (German) government is attempting to enforce this Nazi-era law against people that it purely seems to detest because of their desire to keep their children out of school.”
On appeal, the Board of Immigration Appeals found Burman’s assertion to be erroneous, and stated the record did not support the “inflammatory suggestion that it is a Nazi-era law.”