On October 11, 2013, the Christian News Wire reported that the Home School Legal Defense Association has filed a petition with the United States Supreme Court to hear the case of Romeike v. Holder. This action dates back to 2010, when the U.S. granted the Romeike family political asylum. Later, asylum was reversed and in April 2013, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the revocation of asylum. Currently, the Romeike family faces deportation.
A homeschool nightmare
The Romeike family fled Germany in 2010, so that they could homeschool their children. Under German Law, homeschooling is basically illegal, although the law allows for extenuating circumstances. In a blatant disregard for German law, the Romeike family chose to homeschool their children. As a result, they faced huge fines and the possibility of losing their children to the state. In order to avoid prosecution under German law, they fled the country and arrived in the U.S. with the help of Michael Farris of the Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
Farris, legal counsel for the Romeike family, filed a petition with the U.S. Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals. He wanted to get the revocation of asylum overturned. He failed to do so. The court upheld the revocation and the Romeikes face deportation.
The Romeike family claims that the German public school system teaches subject matter that the family finds offensive and against their religious beliefs. Instead of sending their children to public school, the family decided to risk homeschooling their children. They knew the risks when they made this decision, and they got caught.
Now, once again, the Romeikes are iback in court. All the family wants is the ability to educate their children as they see fit. The Romeike family has never been accused of any sort of neglect in the United States, and they are supporting themselves and their children. Should they be allowed to stay? According to the United States Supreme Court—no.
Michael Donnelly, the Director of International Relations for the HSLDA, made the following statement about the Romeike situation:
Homeschooling is legal in the United States. However, that was not always the case. Homeschooling became illegal starting in the 1950s. Prior to that, homeschooling was legal. Several of our presidents were homeschooled. Then in the 1980s and 1990s many families fought to get the laws changed to where they are now. Those families faced jail, lawsuits, and child neglect charges.
The big question is, should the U.S. accept educational choice as a valid reason for political asylum? If yes, what does this mean for the United States? Will we be faced with a wave of immigration from homeschool families across the globe, which will further bog down our already overtaxed immigration system?
The Romeike family knowingly violated German law. Germany treats all homeschool families with the same harshness and severe penalties. The fact that the Romeike family is Evangelical Christian probably played a role in why the HSLDA is defending them. One wonders if the family was not Christian, would the same amount of help been available from HSLDA.
So, it is round three for the Romeike family and the United States Judicial system. The score so far is the U.S--2, Romeikes--0. Maybe the third time is the charm.
Lynda Altman has homeschooled her 4 children over the last 16 years and she continues to homeschool her youngest child. She believes that homeschooling is a parent’s G-d given right. Lynda writes a blog called Homeschooling When Mom has Cancer. Get notices when this page is updated by clicking on the subscribe link, by email, or contact Lynda @fusgeyer on Twitter.