All homeschoolers would qualify for asylum

The Christian Science Monitor printed their story about the German homeschooling family who received political asylum in the US yesterday and it contained two rather interesting nuggets of information. The first is the decision, if upheld on appeal, will grant asylum to any sincere homeschooler. From the article: “Homeschoolers are a movement of sorts,” says Peter Spiro, an expert on international immigration law at Temple University Law School in Philadelphia. “The immigration judge looking at this claim said there is a coherence to this group ... and that denying the rights of this group [to homeschool] is persecution.”

The article claims Home School Legal Defense Association (HSLDA) has already been contacted by other German homeschoolers who want political asylum. Here is where the second interesting nugget turns up, when Mike Donnelly, an attorney for the HSLDA, is paraphrased:

"Donnelly says his group is not directly affiliated with a Christian church, but his website mentions staff members’ faith. He also said the homeschooling movement in the US was not just Christian – the National Center for Education Statistics says only 36 percent of homeschooled students are kept home for religious reasons."

It has been well noted that as homeschooling has surged in growth—74% in less than a decade—it has also significantly diversified, thereby diminishing the influence of evangelical homeschooling leaders. However, to read that HSLDA is downplaying its religious orientation a bit, or at least downplaying it for this article, makes me feel even more that we are entering a stage where inclusive and global homeschooling associations are the next stage of development we face.