CBN News, by Andrea Morris: Switzerland’s high court has ruled against a mother who wanted to homeschool her 8-year-old son.
The mother resides in the city of Basel, where she applied for permission to homeschool her son in 2017, according to Life Site News.
School authorities dismissed the application and the court rejected the mother’s appeal.
She argued that the appeal court’s decision was equivalent to prohibiting private learning at home – violating a constitutional right to privacy.
Her argument was rejected by the Supreme Court, which stated that the constitutional right to a private life does not relate to homeschooling.
Also, the court ruled that Switzerland’s 26 cantons, or federal states, can authorize whether to allow or ban homeschooling.
In Basel, homeschooling is permitted if applicants can show that the child’s presence at school is impossible.
The Federal Court had ruled previously that national law does not distinctly grant the right to private learning at home.
Still, it ruled that cantons may determine how they conform to federal requirements for basic education.
The Swiss Broadcasting Company reports there are more than 1,000 children who are homeschooled in Switzerland.
Regulations vary throughout the cantons as some require teaching certificates for parents and others do not.
Vaud, the third-largest canton in Switzerland, has 600 homeschooled children, the highest number in the country.
But authorities are considering a crackdown on the homeschoolers by raising some of its regulations.
According to the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation, Franziska Peterhans said her organization, which works with teachers, rejects homeschooling. “Not every family can afford the resources needed to teach their children at home, so it creates inequalities in society,” she said. “Many children who are homeschooled have less interaction with their peers outside the family, so are less socialized.”
A study conducted in 2003 was published in the Peabody Journal of Education, indicating that there is no supporting evidence toward the objection to homeschooling.
Researcher Brian D. Ray wrote a summary of the study, pointing out that the actions of the state are a form of control.
He wrote, “The alleged harms of homeschooling or arguments for more control of it are fundamentally philosophical and push for the state, rather than parents, to be in primary and ultimate control over the education and upbringing of children so they will come to hold worldviews more aligned with the state and opponents of state-free homeschooling than with the children’s parents and freely chosen relationships.”
Not all Christian families are capable of homeschooling, but for those who are, this method of education is the best option, providing a way for children to experience a well-rounded education. The laws in Switzerland are effectively preventing this possibility for Christian families to raise their children according to the principles of God.
“The system of education carried out for generations back has been destructive to health and even life itself. Many young children have passed five hours each day in schoolrooms not properly ventilated, nor sufficiently large for the healthful accommodation of the scholars. The air of such rooms soon becomes poison to the lungs that inhale it. Little children, whose limbs and muscles are not strong, and whose brains are undeveloped, have been kept confined indoors to their injury. . . .
Parents should be the only teachers of their children until they have reached eight or ten years of age. As fast as their minds can comprehend it, the parents should open before them God’s great book of nature. . . . Parents can associate God with all His created works. The only schoolroom for children from eight to ten years of age should be in the open air, amid the opening flowers and nature’s beautiful scenery. And their only textbook should be the treasures of nature. These lessons, imprinted upon the minds of young children amid the pleasant, attractive scenes of nature, will not soon be forgotten.” Fundamentals of Christian Education, page 19, 21.