In Germany, homeschooling parents receive harsh sentences from the courts. Research into these harsh sentences concludes: "So long as the vast majority of Germans find homeschooling an aberrant and socially dangerous activity, judges will read the law that way. But when public opinion changes, the law will too, even if the words of the law stay the same."
Homeschooling was banned in Sweden in 2010, and one of the reasons given for this was that there were so few Swedish people speaking out for homeschooling. Danniel Hammarberg, a blogger that writes a lot about the social services in Sweden has made the following statement : “When the government took the first family's children because they were spanking them, I didn't speak out, because I don't think you should spank your children. When the government took the second family's children because they taught them to fear the government, I didn't speak out, because I've got nothing against the government. When the government took the third family's children because they were homeschooling them, I didn't speak out, because I don't think you should homeschool your children. When the government took my children, there was no one there to speak out for us." Read more.
If parents want to keep the freedom to continue homeschooling, it is important to create and maintain a positive public opinion on homeschooling. In order to maintain a positive public opinion, it is important that many people speak out on homeschooling.
In South Africa we are in the fortunate situation that there are many parents that are willing to speak out for homeschooling. Leendert van Oostrum has been interviewed for articles, on radio and television so many times that he has probably lost count of it. In the beginning of this year, a number of parents took part in a program on KykNET. Large numbers of parents dial in when homeschooling is discussed on talk radio.
The website www.tuisskolers.org attempts to keep readers updated on occasions when homeschooling is discussed in the South African media. If you go to the website and select “Media” and click on the “Homeschooling in the media” option, you will find a number of links to articles and multimedia files where homeschooling was discussed in the media.
The most recent occasion where homeschooling was discussed in the media was a radio interview with Samantha Langford (Chairman of the Kwazulu Natal Homeschooling Association) on Highway Christian Radio on 7 Oct. 2011. A transcription of this interview has been placed on the website.
Homeschoolers should be thankful to those parents that are willing to speak out for homeschooling, because they contribute towards protecting parental freedom in South Africa.