Friday, September 15, 2006

German Homeschooler Arrested

The German attitude toward homeschoolers appears to have been hardening over the last few years, and reports that a homeschooling mom was just arrested for not enrolling her children in the state school. There's been some coverage of this, but no straight translations of the article yet. So here it is, courtesy of a homeschooling mom (thanks, S.) who's a native German speaker.

The lost honor of Katharina P

On Thursday Sept 7 2006 at 11 o’clock, the police picked up Mrs Katharina P. at her front door.

A policewoman in civilian clothes stood at the door as Katharina P. opened it, and called her colleagues.

They and their car had been hidden until then.

She was allowed to change her clothes, but the policewoman came with her to her room despite her protests. The reason given was “Suddenly you will arm yourself and shoot us all.”

Katharina P. had given twelve children life, and is a deeply religious Christian. She could notify her husband by cell phone.

First, one took Katharina P. to Bielefeld.

The next morning, she was taken by prisoner transport to the penal institution in Gelsenkirchen.

Her husband was informed and was also told that his wife would be held for ten days.

On Sept. 9, I heard of the situation and immediately called the Gelsenkirchen Penal Institution --a prisoner- and work-institution under German law -- in order to confirm that Mrs. Katharina P. was being held there.

The officer on duty referred to confidentiality laws that prevented him from giving any information.

Even my reminder that it was simply a pre-publication verification of a situation did not motivate him to say anything or even to give his name.

A subsequent written request for a statement has remained unanswered.

The background of the arrest and detention of Katharina P. is her refusal to enroll her children in the state school. For the same reason, her husband had already been arrested.

Ironic in this context is that Katharina P. as well as her husband and other families in Paderborn are trying to found a school in their hometown, whose license has been held up by the agencies.

Mr. Muller from the Paderborn state government had already previously been inaccessible regarding this situation and has not responded to letters regarding the unsure legality and his questionable legal interpretation. In the magazine Spiegel he had already been represented as a stirrer-upper.

The husband of Mrs. Katharina P. fled yesterday with his children, as was done earlier by the R. family from Hamburg, to Austria. Various organizations as well as private people are working for an early release of Katharina P. A friend is asking for letters of support. Her husband will return to Germany to pick her up. Until then he will care for their children and help in the building of a Christian holiday resort at the Wolfgangsee.

Commentary and background at Spunky Homeschool.


Blogger MrsDarwin said...

It's good to know that the German police force is on top of the criminals in their midst. Perhaps they could steer some of that efficiency in other directions. The recent case of the German girl who was held captive in a basement for ten years might give them a good sense of where to start.

10:20 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Actually, it was in Vienna, Austria, but yes, these countries seem soft on child sexual abuse. Guess the police were so busy chasing those evil homeschoolers that they couldn't be bothered to figure out why the man was living with a female child who wasn't his daughter. It wasn't like it was a secret -- he used to take her shopping! As long as he didn't homeschool her.

5:14 PM  

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