A Christian couple are appealing against a conviction under German law for withdrawing their eleven-year-old daughter from sex education classes.
Willi and Anna Dojan, who have eight children and are active members of the Christian Evangelical Baptist Church, said the content of the classes conflicted with their beliefs about sexuality.
They decided to keep their daughter Lilli away from the four days of “sexual education” lessons, and an interactive stage play called Mein Körper gehört mir (My Body Is Mine), choosing to educate her according to their own views on sexuality instead.
Since being convicted the Dojans have lost two appeals to the German courts and they are now taking their case to the European Court of Human Rights with the help of the Alliance Defense Fund (ADF), a religious liberty advocacy group.
Another German couple, Eduard and Elisabeth Elscheidt, were also convicted for withdrawing their daughter from the lessons and the Mein Körper gehört mir play.
The Elscheidts said the play taught children that if something felt good sexually, it was ‘okay’ to do it.
The ADF believes both families were legally entitled to remove their children from the play and the lessons. The European Convention on Human Rights, to which Germany is a signatory, gives parents the right to educate their children in accordance with their religious beliefs.
ADF lawyer Roger Kiska said: “It’s pretty clear that states are not allowed to indoctrinate their children, and that parents have the ultimate right in raising their child according to their own religious and philosophical convictions.”
Home schooling is illegal in Germany under laws introduced by Hitler to ensure children’s education was under state control.
At least one home schooling German family is currently seeking asylum in America. They fear that if they return to Germany the father will be arrested and the children removed by the authorities.
There are no laws against home schooling in the UK, although home educating parents recently objected to the Government’s decision to carry out an investigation of the current system.
The Government has indicated that parents will retain the right to withdraw their children from sex education lessons when the subject becomes a compulsory part of the primary and secondary school curriculum in England.
In March it was reported that Christian and Muslim parents in London were facing prosecution after they kept their children away from school events celebrating the history of ‘gay rights’.