Parents in Austria fined for homeschooling...
Blogged by James Preece on 21st June 2012
The Church says...
The right of parents to choose an education in conformity with their religious faith must be absolutely guaranteed.
Simple, right? It's not the 1600's any more. Nobody is fined for not practicing the official religion these days...
In September 2011, the local authority started to fine us because we refused to send the children to the local State school. Since then, the Cassidy, Huvozic, and Newton family have been fined for every day their children have been absent from the local school. These fines now run into several thousand Euros. The fines have also forced us to incur substantial legal costs in an attempt to defend ourselves. All this appears to us as fundamentally unfair.
The absurdity of the situation is clear from the fact that there are already hundreds of English speaking children in Austria who are permitted by the Ministry of Education to be educated and tested wholly in English at expensive private schools in Vienna. We only ask for the same right as these parents.
On 8 June 2012 we had a meeting with the local school inspector from Scheibbs. There was no movement on the part of the authorities at all and what appeared to us as a hardening of their position. He told us that if our children are not in school this September (2012) then the likelihood is that the social services will be alterted to our situtation. This appears to us to be a method they are prepared to use to pressure us into sending the children to the local school. The ultimate threat, of course, is that the children shall be taken from us because we are 'mistreating' them by not sending them to the local school.
All over Europe the rights of parents are being trodden on.