Have you read this article about a German homeschooling family having their kids taken away?
What did you think?
A few thoughts.
1. Yes. A team of 20 social workers, armed police officers, and special agents "storming" a homeschooling family’s residence and taking the children without even letting the parents say goodbye does seem heavy handed. If it happened like that, it is concerning.
2. It is in a country's best interests that its children are educated. Different countries will have different rules aimed to ensure that every child is educated. In Queensland, parents must send their children to school or register them in an alternate approved program. Failure to do this will result in the parents being warned and then fined $750 the first time and then $1500 each time after that. A family with 3 school age children could be fined over $15K per week! This is a significant sum of money and shows how seriously our government takes educating our children. In the last few years, the requirements for homeschooling have been tightened and parents really have to show that their children are being educated at home - unfortunately, some families who claimed to be 'homeschooling' were really 'non-schooling'. Germany does not allow homeschooling but has several different types of schools that children can attend - religious and non-religious.
3. Australians and (even more so) Americans find it hard to understand a culture where the government regulates many matters in everyday life. We think, "Why shouldn't I be able to educate my child however I please?" But this is not the European way! Heck, there are even laws about what you can call your child in Germany - each baby's name has to be given official approval before it can be used! In France, the names that you give your pets have to be approved! In Europe, having a rule that your children must go to school is not out of place.
4. As Christians, we are called to follow the laws of our country as far as we can without being disobedient to the scriptures. I assume that the family in the article thought that sending their children to school would have been an act of disobedience. Of course, I think that they were wrong in this, but I hope that they had been reasonable in their interactions with the authorities and tried to negotiate as much as they could - for instance, agreeing to send their children to school but removing them for science or whatever.
5. Isn't this pretty much what white Australians did to Aboriginal children, not just once, but for decades and decades?
6. Hasn't this happened before? Oh no. That was in an Amish romance I read. The family solved the problem by moving to Mexico.
7. I think John Piper's question, "What will you do when they come for your children" is unhelpful and alarmist.