A pretty amazing story about Swedish government social workers targeting a family and taking away a child due to what looks like trumped up charges, but who can really know unless they’re involved in the case? Although I work in public schools, I do agree that parents have a right to home-school their children. In fact, if we’re not careful, we may see parents completely bypassing public schools because they have access to better technologies and resources than K-12 education facilities.

As someone with Swedish ancestors (my father’s family immigrated to the United States from Sweden), I’m disappointed that Swedish courts would deprive a child of his parents because they disagreed with the "poor" decisions those parents may have made in regards to the child’s education.

What do you think?

  • tags: no_tag

    • Court Upholds State-Sponsored “Kidnapping” of Homeschooled Boy

    • Swedish family of Annie and Christer Johansson whose only child, 7-year-old Dominic Johansson, was “kidnapped” by Swedish authorities in June of this year as the family was on a plane leaving the country for a new life and home in India. Annie Johansson is from India where her entire family lives.

      Your Help Needed

      Please contact Swedish officials on behalf of the Johansson family. We also ask that you keep the Johansson family in your prayers during this incredible trial they are facing.

      Contact Information

      The social workers
      sofi.rosenqvist@gotland.se
      caroline.palmqvist@gotland.se

      The social workers’ supervisors
      kristina.djerf@gotland.se
      marika.gardell@gotland.se

      National officials

      Prime Minister of Sweden Fredrik Reinfeldt
      Telephone: +46 8 405 10 00
      Mailing Address: Rosenbad 4, SE-103 33 Stockholm

      Minister Maria Larsson
      Ministry for Elderly Care and Public Health, Ministry of Health and Social Affairs
      Telephone +46 8 405 10 00
      Fax +46 8 723 11 91
      Mail Address: Fredsgatan 8; SE-103 33 Stockholm

      To email the officials above visit the webpage: http://www.sweden.gov.se/sb/d/2052

      Local politicians and government leaders
      Brittmarie.Fagerlund@lansstyrelsen.se
      gustaf.hoffstedt@gotland.se
      eva.nypelius@gotland.se
      lars.thomsson@gotland.se
      lena.celion@gotland.se
      gotlands.kommun@gotland.se

      Indian Ambassador to Sweden
      ambassador@indianembassy.se

      Sign Petition Calling for Dominic to Go Home
      http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/return-dominic-johansson-to-his-parents

      The Johanssons’ lives suddenly changed, and a nightmare ensued as police officers took Dominic off the plane at the orders of local social workers. They didn’t have a warrant, and they didn’t charge the Johanssons with any crime. Their reasoning? Dominic had been homeschooled, and the authorities wanted to make sure he was receiving an education.

    • The family had been refused school materials by their local school when they had asked for them last year. As a homeschooling family, the Johanssons lean towards unschooling, profess the Christian faith, and try to live close to nature. Mr. and Mrs. Johannson had made plans to move to India to work with several orphanages to help them to live simply and economically. Although their lifestyle is out of the ordinary to Swedish officials, nothing in their approach to family life justified such a radical state intervention. In addition to living simply, the Johanssons exercised their legal rights to opt out of vaccinations for their son as well as only taking him to the doctor when he was sick, also reasons cited by the court to allow Swedish social services to retain custody of Dominic.

    • The Swedish press has reported that the court admits the family has taken care of Dominic as they thought best, but insists the government’s plan is better.

      In its opinion the court noted that Dominic had some untreated cavities and had not been vaccinated. The court also said that because Dominic had not been in school he had been “socially isolated.” This, the court said, demonstrated that the parents were not aware of the impact their decision to homeschool would have on Dominic’s future development and opportunities.

    • Roger Kiska, an Alliance Defense Fund attorney based in Europe, noted that this kind of behavior was shocking but sadly not without precedent. Kiska has been following the case and has sent several letters expressing concern over the incident.

      “What you have here is a socialist country trying to create a cookie cutter kid,” Kiska said. “This family is a little different from the average Swedish family. There are so few homeschoolers in the country that this, along with their issues, has caused the social services agency to take the child in order to coerce changes from the family. Unfortunately. in Europe this kind of thing happens too often where social workers take a child and then just keep him. The parents in these cases are really powerless since the system is so one-sided.”

      Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for HSLDA, expressed indignation at the court decision.

      “This court decision is deeply disturbing. The hostility against homeschooling and for parent’s rights is contrary to everything expected from a Western nation. This decision echoes the German courts who have ruled homeschooling illegal, and that it is OK to take children from parents who do homeschool. We had hoped that the appeals court would return Dominic to his family. Since they are not, we believe it is critical all freedom-loving people respond to this outrageous decision.”

      Donnelly continued, “HSLDA is gravely concerned about this case as it represents what can happen to other families who might wish to homeschool their children. Furthermore, in response to inquiries from HSLDA, Swedish authorities have cited the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to explain and defend their actions. If the U.S. were to ever ratify this treaty, then state-sponsored kidnapping could occur here. Every homeschooler would be at risk. Such treatment of families and children is inhumane and inconsistent with a reasonable understanding of basic human rights. Therefore, we are asking our members to contact Swedish officials asking them to return Dominic Johansson to his family.”

Posted from Diigo. The rest of my favorite links are here.

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