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Switzerland Supreme Court Denies Mother's Right to Homeschool Her Son


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."

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