Judge suspends fine against 16-year old

Translation of a news article from a German daily –

We felt it was necessary to supply it. Although the journalist did leave out important facts, it is of value for background information. To get the full picture, we recommend reading here.

The Eschwege District Court has suspended administrative fine proceedings against 16-year old Daniel Dudek. “I have considerable doubts that Daniel was aware of the wrong in his actions” judge Alexander Wachter justified his decision to suspend hearing the case.

According to the judge, the adolescent had been raised being homeschooled from his early days on. Wanting to go to school, he would have had to take a stand against his own parents. “This cannot be expected from a 15-year old.”

In May, the state’s supervisory school authority in Bebra had stipulated a fine against the student because he had declined to attend ninth grade of the Südringgauschule in Herleshausen. Daniel Dudek has never attended a public school, just as his two elder brothers, but has been educated by his parents at home. The two brothers Jonathan and Lukas have also been educated at home but both have obtained a public secondary school certificate at the “Südringgauschule” as the best of their classes, each with a score of 1,1 (straight A’s).

In November last year, Daniel Dudek had applied to enter second semester at the “Südringgauschule” in order to obtain his secondary school certificate at the school. This was rejected by the authorities and he was ordered to enter 9th grade. But because the 15-year old did not comply with this order, the supervisory school authority initiated an administrative offence proceeding against him, as it is usually applied to truant students.

However, in a statement of the faculty meeting of the “Südringgauschule” from January 2012 it is protocolled that “it is to be expected that Daniel is probably far advanced compared to his peer group.” This has also been the experience with the two older Dudek sons. “It is undisputed that Daniel is mature enough for the certificate but in some kind of blind rage, the school authority is demanding an unnecessary penalty year from him in this school.” says the lawyer Andreas Vogt.

Due to the fact that the court’s decision is incontestable, the school authority will not take any further steps against Daniel. “But the Dudek case remains a current topic here because the parents continually and willfully withhold their children from school and thus teach their children such behavior.” stated the head of the school authority Anita Hofmann. “This is a matter of executing the state’s interests and we will apply all legal possibilities that we have at our disposal.” Besides the three sons, the Dudek family still has five younger children.

Due to his denial to attend 9th grade instead of the 10th grade, Daniel Dudek now has no school leaving certificate. Currently, the 16-year old is preparing for admission qualification to German college through an internationally accessible correspondence course.

by Stefanie Salzmann

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