Laws don’t just pop up out of the blue

Who has to be punished in what way because his children don’t sit in a classroom?

The law for that offence hasn’t been around all the time. Illustrious, enlightened personalities of modern times are often pointed to as initiators of compulsory schooling by advocates of state school. deutsche Version

Certainly their aim has solely been to advance reading, writing and algebra for all. That’s quite nice.One senior civil-servant even alleges Martin Luther to be the inventor of forced schooling. That’s rather cynical.

From a paedagogical and law-historical perspective there is no doubt who is lurking behind all this: A certain Adolf Hitler. The school laws of our ‘Länder’, insofar as they interpret compulsory schooling as forced school attendance, go back to the so-called ‘Reichsschulgesetz’ from July 1938 – a real innovation. At that date it was laid down for the first time that pupils had to be forced into school buildings. What’s more, the law made provisions for parents to be punished financially or with a jail sentence who didn’t let their children take part at state schooling.

Mind you, before 1938 it was no crime for parents to teach their children – or have them tutored – at home, inspite of compulsory schooling. An astonishing degree of family freedom which, once cancelled, isn’t to be found in Germany any more. Instead, state jurists (lesser well taught are following suit) keep sentencing homeschoolers because of “defiance of applicable laws”. At the same time every law student has to learn in his first semester that in our country only laws are applicable that get along with our constitution.

It is exactly this constitution that separates itself from state totalitarianism of any colour. For example, by assigning highest importance to property rights of the individual citizen (basic rights). The maxim that every law has to be consistent with our constitution, is absolutely imperative. This must in no way be ignored in the case of a law of nationalsocialist origin. Insofar a gross contradiction is inherent in every attempt to enforce compulsory schooling: It’s the opposition to our free democratic basic order. This highlights a characteristic aspect of criminalizing homeschooling, and keeping on the blinders towards the constitutional context – out of state reasoning.

Not liberal democracy is at the root of forced schooling – but totalitarian ideology. Forced schooling that had been set up by Hitler was adopted by the western German part (by the eastern part anyway …). No way that you would have returned to former family freedom. In this injustice – the priority that state authorities concede to force before justice and freedom – the poisonous rootage of forced schooling is thriving splendidly.

1 comment

  • I home schooled six children for about eight years and got most of what I used from other home schooling families who had finished with those levels with their own children, for a very small cost. I also called our school board and home school office and found that I was entitled to go to the book depository for our county and take whatever books, materials that I wanted for free. … Getting materials was the easiest part of home schooling. Baking cookies and following receipts and using measurements are a wonderful way to teach also. Good luck, it will be worth it and your rewards will be your children’s future.

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