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Unpublished Paper
VERBOTEN: FORBIDDEN HOMESCHOOLING IN GERMANY AND ITS CONFLICT WITH INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM.
ExpressO (2015)
  • Jacob A Aschmutat, Emory University
Abstract
Germany maintains strict compulsory education laws that prevent families from educating their children at home. Germany strictly enforces these laws, with little regard to the families’ incentives to remove their children from the public schools. As such, these laws contain no exemption for families interested in homeschooling for religious purposes. The absence of such an exemption seems to contradict the internationally recognized right to religious freedom, a right concretely granted through three international treaties that Germany has both signed and ratified. Several decisions by the European Court of Human Rights give little to no credence to the notion of religious freedom as it falls within the home education context. These decisions maintain the significance of the country’s restrictions on homeschooling, referring to the necessity in stamping out parallel societies, which public schooling allegedly provides most efficiently. This comment suggests that Germany’s compulsory education laws, which originate from Adolf Hitler’s Third Reich, are overly broad, brutally enforced, and they restrict a family’s ability to practice their religion as it pertains to home education practices. The comment proposes an alternative framework that the ECHR could employ to evaluate the both the legitimacy of such laws and the petitions by homeschooling families. This framework allows for courts to account for both a potentially reasonable law and weigh it against the religious interests of a family. Incorporating an approach will promote consistency, reliability, and objective analysis by a reviewing court, and will ultimately ensure an appropriate balance between religious liberty and state interests in ensuring an educated body of citizens.
Keywords
  • Homeschooling,
  • religion,
  • Europe,
  • Germany,
  • compulsory education,
  • education,
  • European Court of Human Rights,
  • human rights,
  • treaty.
Publication Date
March 15, 2015
Citation Information
Jacob A Aschmutat. "VERBOTEN: FORBIDDEN HOMESCHOOLING IN GERMANY AND ITS CONFLICT WITH INTERNATIONAL RELIGIOUS FREEDOM." ExpressO (2015)
Available at: http://works.bepress.com/jacob_aschmutat/1/