Thursday, January 11, 2007

Threat to Homschooling in France

Current status: please write to the French embassy. Although we don't usually get involved in thigs outside the UK, the effective banning of homeschooling in France could easily influence thinking in the UK. This law is contrary to the right of parents to educate their children, which is fundamental to Catholic teaching on educatiion.

The French Ambassador to the UK is

Gérard Errera
French Embassy in the United Kingdom
58 Knightsbridge,
Tél. : (44) 207 073 1000

(The email links does not appear to work.)

From the Home School Legal Defence Association (of the US): January 9, 2007
>HSLDA--French Homeschoolers Need Your Help Immediately!
>Dear HSLDA members and friends:
>French homeschoolers are faced with a draconian bill which will be
>voted on by parliament within the next few days. We just received word
>about this bill today.
>Homeschooling is currently allowed in France. However, this bill would
>essentially outlaw homeschooling. No parent would be allowed to
>homeschool unless they showed that the health or handicap of their
>child makes it necessary for him or her to be taught at home.
>In addition, if a family could even prove they have a health issue or
>some other "serious" reason to justify their homeschool, they would
>then have to submit to a home visit by a government official each
>year. Also, their curriculum would be either provided by the "National
>Center of Correspondence Teaching (CNED)" or by an approved private
>correspondence school.
>French homeschoolers believe this bill will essentially outlaw
>homeschooling as they know it in France. They plead for your help to
>stop this restrictive bill.
>Homeschoolers in America have successfully stopped similar legislation
>in Ireland, the Czech Republic, and South Africa. In both Ireland and
>the Czech Republic, the restrictive homeschooling bills had already
>passed one house of parliament before we even got involved. Once we
>got involved the bills were stopped.
>At this point we need you to communicate with the French Embassy in
>Washington, D.C. In a few days we will send another email asking you
>to communicate directly with the parliament members.
>Please contact as soon as possible, by phone or email, the French
>Embassy and give them this message:
>"Amendments 127 & 128, which would virtually outlaw homeschooling, are
>being voted on by the French parliament. If passed, this would cause a
>travesty. We cannot believe that a free country like France would
>outlaw such a basic right as parents choosing to homeschool their
>children. Over two million children are being successfully
>homeschooled in America. Homeschooling works. We ask that you
>immediately convey to the French government our concern and request
>that the bill language prohibiting homeschooling in nearly all
>circumstances be withdrawn."
>Also, explain in a paragraph or two the wonderful success you have had
>with homeschooling.
>Ambassador Jean-David Levitte
>(202) 944-6000
>Homeschooling has long been allowed in France. Homeschoolers have to
>have regular testing and sometimes they are visited by an official,
>but for the most part operate freely. This bill would completely
>change that legal atmosphere and make it impossible for 95% of
>homeschoolers to operate.
>Please take time to help our brothers and sisters in France, where the
>homeschool movement is small and they do not have a lot of
>organizations or numbers. Nonetheless, there are many sincere parents
>who love their children and want to faithfully teach them at home
>principles from the Word of God and personally train their children.
>If homeschoolers don't try to help, who will? Please take a moment and
>contact the French Embassy.
>Thank you.
>Christopher J. Klicka
>HSLDA Senior Counsel

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Pope Leo XIII's Prayer to St Michael

Holy Michael, Archangel, defend us in the day of battle. Be our safeguard against the wickedness and snares of the devil. May God rebuke him, we humbly pray, and do thou, Prince of the Heavenly Host, by the power of God, thrust down to Hell Satan, and all wicked spirits who wander through the world for the ruin of souls. Amen