Just one year after Dirk and Petra Wunderlich’s four children were snatched in a police raid over home education, a state appeals court has said that — while homeschooling remains a danger and that the children should go to school — it was wrong for a family court judge in the case to keep legal custody away from the parents.
In a decision highly critical of the parents and of homeschooling, the appeals court decided that the action of the lower court was “disproportional” and ordered complete custody returned to the family.
Dirk and Petra Wunderlich, who began homeschooling again when the court signaled it would rule this way, were very pleased with the result but noted that the court’s harsh words about homeschooling indicated that their battle was far from over.
“We have won custody and we are glad about that,” Dirk said. “The court said that taking our children away was not proportionate — only because the authorities should apply very high fines and criminal prosecution instead. But this decision upholds the absurd idea that homeschooling is child endangerment and an abuse of parental authority.”
“While we no longer fear that our children will be taken away as long as we are living in Hessen, it can still happen to other people in Germany,” he continued. “Now we fear crushing fines up to $75,000 and jail. This should not be tolerated in a civilized country.”
© 2014 HSLDA