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Please write HSLDA-ask "cancel Berlin" meeting...

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Help!!! The shoe is on the other foot!


Please write to HSLDA!!! Ask them to change the location of the Global Conference to a location outside Germany.


People in Germany and Europe have been asking HSLDA to NOT hold their Global Conference in Berlin this fall. But HSLDA isn't listening!


Please 'bump' this message up to keep it current on the forum.


There are some people who want to hold the conference in Berlin, but lots of people in very precarious home education situations in a country where home education is illegal, DO NOT think it wise to hold the conference in Berlin.


There are many reasons not to:


1. Berlin is a 'state' which has been known to show up at the door of a person who had home educated in another state and was moving to Berlin to put her child into school. This person and her child have now been put into a home where they have to sleep on separate floors (under guard basically). How did they know she was arriving? Why do that to someone who had officially registered her child in a school? There are families there who have lost custody of their children!


HSLDA cannot guarantee protection from surveillance by German authorities at this meeting. That means many of the individuals they are supposed to support, probably would not feel free to attend.


German authorities have pursued home educators who have left Germany to try to bring back home educated children to German to place them in foster care....


2. People in precarious positions feel it could anger the government and endanger the grass roots individuals and groups that have positive relationships with their local authorities and therefore they could lose their freedom.


3. Lack of transparency - the idea originated at an HSLDA meeting in the US. People protested on the street when HSLDA helped back a meeting in the Netherlands several years ago. Unless they hide their involvement, there could be lots of negative press in a country which is against "parallel societies". But if they are not transparent, then they are being 'deceptive' which is not right either. Plus it could also be found out and have other negative effects.


4. HSLDA says they want to influence politicians, by inviting politicians....but German people on the ground in Germany (clearly different people than the people HSLDA is meeting with) think this will not have the desired effect because German politicians are not like US politicians.


5. HSLDA does not seem to read "German" politics or politicians or judges very well as so far, to my knowledge, they have not had a positive outcome for the trials they have been involved in....And even if there are one or two that I have somehow missed, there are more that they have lost. They only thing they have done successfully as far as I know is to support the move of the Romeike family to the US. So far, there has not been positive change in Germany from that though.


6. The 'top down' method (by law) of changing the home education system has not worked, so there are many German home educators who want to do the 'bottom up' approach, meaning slowly influence people and authorities around them and have greater and greater positive effects for the movement.


7. There are major and minor home education organizations which do not think the meeting should happen in Berlin against the wishes of German home educators eg www.BVNL.de, Les enfants d'abord (France), cise.fr, Learning Unlimited, ALE, The Otherwise Club, and others. Some don't want it to happen in Europe at all. Others are open to it being elsewhere in Europe (but not usually their country! They say any country where home educators aren't threatened by it).


8. HSLDA sent around a form asking who was interested in this meeting months ago. The problem? The form did not get to the people who don't have any connection to HSLDA and those who are most against HSLDA involvement in Europe (for past reasons that we won't go into here). So their opinion about the viability of this meeting and the worthwhileness of this endeavor was not asked.


It feels 'imperialistic' for them to just come in and hold this meeting without real concensus among home educators in the country. They should have met with the real grassroots people who have done it, are doing it, and their children who are now grown up and want to home educate as well, not their limited list of contacts.


9. Germany is a country where authorities do not understand that "Parents having the right to decide their children's education" is a human right - even though they signed the UN Declaration for Human Rights. There are judges who are just determined to not let this freedom occur and come up with all kinds of excuses. And people do not believe that this meeting will change their minds positively.


There are more reasons, and more complicated reasons - but I don't want this to get too long...


If you want to propose something for HSLDA to do - propose that they help religiously neutral speakers such as Gordon Neufeld get speaking dates at European universities so that his ideas of the problems of peer pressure and other speakers who know the problems of 'school' or benefits of home education become well known, so that HE is not just seen as a 'far right' affair.


Here are contact details: Please write, email, or call. And if you are an HSLDA member, please mention that.


Home School Legal Defense Association

Email address:



Mailing address:

P.O. Box 3000

Purcellville, VA 20134


Phone: (540) 338-5600

Fax: (540) 338-2733


Edited by Joan in Geneva
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I did get to talk with HSLDA -


We discussed the security of Berlin - but disagree about potential problems (and I've encouraged a German person familiar with Berlin to email him)


We discussed how having politicians there will or will not change things - and I've encouraged someone familiar with this to write him more concretely...


We discussed numbers of people who want to hold vs do not want it held in Berlin - and I've written a separate email naming organizations and individuals...


There is the possibility that the meeting will be held in another country - the board is going to discuss it....


I have learned about general funding - here is the report of how money is used...



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