Uwe and Hanalore Romeike want to educate their seven children at home, rather than in the school system. But in Germany where they come from originally, home schooling is illegal.
It isn’t just discouraged, it is punishable by heavy fines and imprisonment and their children could be taken away from them.
“We are being persecuted, as are many other home schooling families in Germany,” says Mr. Romeike. “Parents should have the right to choose the best education for their children. That’s what’s lacking in Germany. We don’t have freedom of education.”
The Romeike family fled Germany and came to America for religious asylum in 2008 and settled in Tennessee. In their native country, they ran afoul of the government for trying to protect their children from some of the anti-Christian influences in the German public schools — the same kind of influences often found in American public schools for that matter.
In 2010, Judge Lawrence Burman, an immigration judge granted the family asylum saying that if the family returned to Germany they would assuredly face persecution because of their religious beliefs. The judge agreed that if the family returned to Germany that the children would be taken from their parents who face arrest for wanting a Christian education for their kids.
Two years later the Obama administration called for a review and a higher court overturned the decision. Thanks to the efforts of Attorney General Eric Holder, every court since the government appeal was filed has ruled against the family. In May, the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals ruled:
“The Romeikes have not shown that Germany’s enforcement of its general school-attendance law amounts to persecution against them, whether on grounds of religion or membership in a recognized social group. There is a difference between the persecution of a discrete group and the prosecution of those who violate a generally applicable law.”
On October 10, 2013, the Home School Legal Defense Association filed an appeal with the US Supreme Court, asking them to hear the case. In November their appeal was up for consideration with the high court, but they delayed hearing the case because they asked Eric Holder to respond to the appeal in writing. The HSLDA believes that the request of the court for a written response from Holder was a good sign that at least one of the justices is interested in the case. It takes 5 members of the court to agree to hear a case, and they are praying that is the case.
This Friday, February 21, the Supreme Court is scheduled to review the case. The HSLDA is asking everyone for prayer that the high court will uphold the history of America as being a place of refuge for those persecuted for their faith. They believe that they have a strong and solid case and a persuasive argument.
Attorney Michael Farris who founded the HSDLA and is helping the Romeike family says: “The Obama administration is basically saying there is no right to home school anywhere.”
In reference to German restrictions of homeschooling, Farris adds: “That means they don’t want to have significant numbers of people who think differently than what the government thinks…. It’s an incredibly dangerous assertion that people can’t think in a way that the government doesn’t approve of.”
The sad situation with the Romeike family clearly demonstrates what our government has become. They say yes to foreign gays, to Muslims and to illegal aliens, but they scream NO at Christians.