With only weeks before oral arguments in a potentially precedent-setting human rights case, Home School Legal Defense Association, the world’s largest homeschool association, has launched a petition on the White House website insisting that the Obama Administration grant permanent legal status to the Romeikes, a family persecuted for homeschooling in Germany.
The White House petition has garnered nearly 20,000 signatures, but needs a total of 100,000 by April 18 to get an official response from the Administration.
While whitehouse.gov has seen petitions ranging from serious to comical — including creating a “Death Star” and requesting Congressmen to wear sponsorships like NASCAR drivers — HSLDA believes that the Romeike petition is of utmost importance because a family’s human rights are at stake.
HSLDA Chairman and founder Michael Farris, JD, LLM, argues the case at the Sixth Circuit Court of Appeals on April 23 and explains why this case is so important to Americans.
“When the United States government says that homeschooling is a mutable choice, it is saying that a government can legitimately coerce you to change this choice,” Farris said. “In other words, you have no protected right to choose what type of education your children will receive. We should understand that in these arguments, something very concerning is being said about the liberties of all Americans.”
The case has captured national and international media attention with reporting by the Associated Press, Fox News, Al Jazeera, Glenn Beck, and Mike Huckabee.
“I’m glad Obama wasn’t in charge in 1620,” Farris said in an appearance on Fox and Friends. “The government’s arguments in this case confuse equal persecution with equal protection and demonstrate a serious disregard for individual religious liberty. I really wonder what would’ve happened to the Pilgrims under this administration.”
HSLDA learned of the Romeikes’ plight shortly before they fled to the United States. The German authorities had levied thousands of dollars in fines against them and planned to put a lien on their home. Homeschooling is not tolerated in Germany and Uwe Romeike indicated that they might have to leave the country. HSLDA is encouraging as many people as possible to show their support by signing the White House petition for the Romeikes by April 1.