Urgent Alert: The Netherlands Needs Your Help Immediately To Legalize Home Schooling (October 27, 2003)
From the HSLDA E-Lert service
On October 30th, homeschooling will be debated in the Netherland's
parliament. They will either direct the Minister of Education to crack
down on homeschooling (which the Minister wants to do) or legalize
The Netherlands Home School Association (NHSA) believes your calls and
e-mails will likely make the difference on whether homeschooling will
survive in Holland.
Right now, most members of parliament do not think the issue is very
important because it only effects 50 families that are legally
homeschooling. But there are hundreds of others underground waiting for
Will you take a few minutes and help "the least of these" who are
requesting our assistance? Remember, in the past, your calls and e-mails
helped release a homeschool family from jail in South Africa, a
homeschool court case to be dismissed in Germany, harmful homeschool
legislation defeated in Ireland and the Czech Republic and much more.
There are three places to send a copy of your e-mail listed below to
make this grassroots effort a success.
Please give the Education Committee in the Dutch Parliament, the
Minister of Education, and the Dutch embassy this message:
"Please legalize homeschooling in the Netherlands. One of the most
basic of human rights that every free nation must recognize, is the
right of parents to choose the education and training of their children.
Homeschooling is producing thousands of productive and successful
adults. Homeschooling works and should be protected." You can also give
some general information about the success of your homeschool.
Deliver the message to:
1) The Education Committee of the Dutch Parliament which will be
meeting to debate homeschooling on October 30th. E-mail:
2) The Minister of Education, Maria van der Hoeven at firstname.lastname@example.org.
(A copy to the Netherlands Home School Association is important,
email@example.com, so that they can make a compilation of your
messages and present them to the Dutch press).
3) Call Ambassador Boudewijn van Eenennaam at the Dutch embassy (202)
or via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org
In the Netherlands home education as such is currently not a legal
option. Home schooling parents may try to get an exemption from school
registration, but only for deeply felt religious or philosophical
reasons. However, these exemptions are recognized with great reluctance,
for children are not considered to be educated effectively without
public school attendance. Many are denied. Once a child has attended a
school even this option is barred.
Now only the parents of about a 100 children have been able to avoid
this trap to secure their freedom. Many more families would like to
home-educate their children but are not able to get their way without
years filled with court cases and child protection investigations.
Since some court cases have been won rather unexpectedly by
home-educators this year, Maria van der Hoeven, the Dutch Minister of
Education, wants to make life even more difficult for them. Despite the
fact that the current law does not consider home-education to be an
effective option compared with institutional schooling, she wants to put
homeschoolers under tight educational supervision. The Education
Committee of the Second Chamber, the Dutch House of Representatives,
will have a debate on her plan October 30, at 10.00 AM.
The Netherlands Home School Association sent us this plea,
"We, a group of home-educating parents in the Netherlands, want
home-education to become a legal option, its efficacy recognized by the
authorities, and most of all we want parents to exercise a free choice
for and with their children without unnecessary state interference.
"That is why we ask for your help. We know some members of parliament
sympathize with us, after receiving tens of pages of arguments against
the Minister's view, but all this input has come from a small group of
activists so far.
"So, after delivering lots of research and different legislative
possibilities we need a lot of your messages to reach the hearts of
those Members of Parliament! Let them find out that home-education has
grown to a worldwide grass-roots movement of responsible families!"
Thank you for assisting the homeschool movement in the Netherlands!
HSLDA Senior Counsel