Whose Children Are They?

by Tammy Drennan, NEO Senior Writer
 
The battle continues around the world between government and parents over who should control the rearing and education of children. Should government define education and control the future or should private citizens control their own families and define their own futures?
 
This is a war with phenomenal portent for the future. Almost every dictator who has ever lived has recognized and acted on the importance of controlling the education and formation of children. Hitler considered his takeover of Germany's schools vital to his success. Likewise Mao, Stalin and many others. Even less diabolical governments fear losing their influence if they don't control education.
 
Government must recognize the limits of its legitimate power. Shaping the future by way of controlling the minds of children through political power is wrong and dangerous. For that reason, we need to pay attention to what is going on around the world.
 
Before you take a look at the alarming stories below, remember that parents, even in these countries, are fighting back. Parents mean to keep government in its place and are showing they have the courage to do it.
 
Germany: Berlin's education minister says homeschooling is not an option for Germany, claims only government can teach tolerance and social values
 
Botswana: Officials raid homes, order parents to stop homeschooling
 
Sweden: Swedish officials pass 1500-page education law, restrict parents from choosing education options based on religious or philosophical principles, declare homeschooling unnecessary, restrict private schools' religious practices
 
Sweden: Homeschooled child seized by authorities without warrant, held without charges, parents allowed 1-hour visit every five weeks
 
Switzerland: St. Gallen canton (state) declares families unfit to educate children
 
Caribbean Curaçao (Netherlands): Parents prohibited from taking their children off island during school hours, family denied right to homeschool
 
Brazil: Parents convicted in criminal court for homeschooling sons who qualified for law school at ages 13 and 14.