Parents Don’t Have Constitutional Homeschool Rights, Swiss Court Rules
In Switzerland, parents do not have the right to homeschool their children, a decision that was reaffirmed by the country’s highest court in August of 2019. The ruling has sent a wave of concern across the globe as homeschooling popularity and growth has conflicted with worldwide politicians.
The ruling is based on a 2017 homeschool application by a Basel City mother. The mother’s homeschool application would have allowed for the private education of her eight-year-old son. The school immediately and swiftly rejected the application. Following that, a cantonal court confirmed the decision. But the mother didn’t take the decision lying down, instead, bringing the case before Federal Court. The mother claimed her constitutional rights were violated by the decision.
But Switzerland’s supreme court disagreed with her claims, ruling that the decision didn’t violate her constitutional rights. In Basel City, Switzerland, homeschool is currently allowed only under the condition that the parent or guardian can prove that school attendance is not possible. But Switzerland laws, in general, prohibit acts of homeschooling (though the strictness varies from region to region). And there is evidence that regions with higher homeschooling numbers may further restrict parents rights over the matter as a way to cut down on these cases.
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Homeschooling in California is surging as parents continue to challenge what they feel are laws that violate their parental rights. But nationally, homeschool numbers are on the rise. Check out our how to homeschool guide for more information on what each state requires in order to gain approval.
Parents around the world are on edge as lawmakers continue to push for more restrictive laws, including in the United States. Many lawmakers are connecting homeschooling with vaccine avoidance as a way to push for strict laws. A recent NYTimes op-ed titled, How Far Would You Go To Avoid Vaccinating Your Child, is yet another example of the media’s push to intertwine both concepts. New York local Jenni Mahnaz has seen rapid growth in her business, NY Homeschool Help, which serves to consult parents who might be confused by the homeschool process.
But homeschooling and vaccines weren’t always connected. There is a slew of reasons why parents might choose to homeschool their children, including religious and a general distrust of public school education. This has added yet another polarizing layer to an already controversial topic.
One thing seems clear, homeschool numbers will continue to rise and some lawmakers will continue to attempt to stifle things. Where this showdown ends up is anyone’s guess, but it’s certain to remain highly contentious.
Author: Jim Satney
PrepForThat’s Editor and lead writer for political, survival, and weather categories.