Cookie cutter kids and state sponsored kidnappings

A picture named M2

The Dominic Johansson case I wrote about earlier is still getting attention from the Home Schooling Legal Defence Association, HSDLA, here in the USA. In their latest news release, headlined "Court Upholds State-Sponsored "Kidnapping" of Homeschooling Boy" an attorney named Roger Kiska who represents the Alliance Defense Fund, ADF,  was interviewed and said the following about the Swedish school system;  “What you have here is a socialist country trying to create a cookie cutter kid,”

In the same news release Michael Donnelly, director of international affairs for HSLDA, expressed the following views; “HSLDA is gravely concerned about this case as it represents what can happen to other families who might wish to homeschool their children. Furthermore, in response to inquiries from HSLDA, Swedish authorities have cited the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child to explain and defend their actions. If the U.S. were to ever ratify this treaty, then state-sponsored kidnapping could occur here. Every homeschooler would be at risk. Such treatment of families and children is inhumane and inconsistent with a reasonable understanding of basic human rights. Therefore, we are asking our members to contact Swedish officials asking them to return Dominic Johansson to his family.” Read the news release here

The the attorney who expressed his view on Swedish schools as producing cookie-cutter-kids represents and organisation that themselves promote the cookie-cutter American family that should be man, woman and children, the family shall be Christian and the State shall decide over the female body by not allowing her to make decisions concerning her health, such as abortion. I would say that the society and the values that ADF is working for is cookie-cutter to the extreme and would create an extremely state controlled, homogenous society shunning the heterogenous thinking and ideals.

Reading the one-sided and ignorant comments made by ADF on other  countries' policies and lawsmakes it easy for the to discard this association as an intolerant and uneducated dinosaour that we hopefully will see less of in the future. Nevertheless they have gravely insulted a country and its citizens they obviously know very little about.  

The HSDLA is not much better, they disrespect the laws of a democratic, civilization by calling a court ordered action based on the laws of the country "state-sponsored kidnapping". If I was as  uneducated and uncivilized as the author of the article mentioned above, I could call death penalty in the USA for "state-sponsored murder". Having been educated socialist cookie-cutter kid though, I do not buy this one sided, rethoric nonsense.

My suggestion to HSDLA who I think work for a good cause, being that they are heavily involved in the education of children world wide, is to instead of using drama language and hate rethoric actually inform their readers on the education system and culture in Sweden instead of use an insulting comment such as cookie-cutter kid and socialist as if it was bad. Of course it is easier and less time consuming to spew comments like state-sponsored kidnapping than investigating the background to why a Swedish child is in a foster home instead of with his family. There are social authorities in the USA that every day place children in foster care with the support of US law. Children in all civilized countries are protected by the law as they are totally dependent on adults that do not alway have the ability to give the children what is best for them. I would say that social workers in many countries such as USA and Sweden, every day struggle with making the decision about what is best for the child. Many situations are not are clear-cut and sometimes, I am sure mistakes are made. I doubt though that any social worker in any country would do anything to hurt a child.

Instead of bashing these workers, they should be encouraged and supported by all of us that supports the idea that some issues need to be handled by our society as a whole. The decision to separate a child from its parents, biological or not, is not easily taken and in an ideal world the parents would be the best care takers of their children. Countries that have child protection laws have different laws on what would constitute the society to take the child from their parents, temporarily or permanently. In order to cast judgement on a certain case one would have to study the local laws.  

I had the great opportunity to work with drug abusing women to finance my university studies. It was a very humbling experience and it taught me the complexity of each situation that would cause society top step in and take over the parent's responsabilities. It is never black or white, good or evil, right or wrong in those situations, it is human beings trying to do what they think is best within the realms of the law of the country they serve.
The Dominic Johansson case, is interesting from many aspects and should be more investigated by journalists that know how to find facts instead of organisations that paint everything in black or white to support their case.  

After having followed the case from a distance I have several questions and remarks. I do not understand why the boy needs to be in a foster family. Based on the facts in the case; the boy was not fulfillling his skolplikt, school plight and his parents had not made the required visits for health and dental check-ups. Obviously parents need to make sure their children go to school and unless approved by the school board one cannot keep ones child at home claiming to homeschool. This is applicable for the USA as well. Homeschooling is regulated by law in each state and you need to make applications and to be approved in order to home school. This is to protect he child and to ensure that all citizens in a country get the same opportunity to education in basic skills. In the US parents are arrested for not sending their children to school or applying for homeschooling, in the brief news release on HSLDA about a recent case in New York it is said that parents have been arrested but not what happened to their children. Read more here This case might indicate that the US has stricter laws on sending children to school than Sweden. Why was this case not head lined "State sponsored "Kidnapping" of  Homeschooling Parents in New York"?

Education is the basis of democracy. At least that is what I was taught in school. If you cannot read and understand certain concepts you cannot participate in the democratic process. Having a plan for education that will ensure that all children in a country have the same right and opportunity to get the same basic skills is not about creating cookie cutter kids, it is about giving every citizen the tools to understand and participate in society. There are national educational plans for the US as well as for Sweden. In both plans homeschooling is allowed. I do not understand what mr Kiska found in the Swedish school plan that would make him call it a socialistic. I would be interested in understanding mr Kiska's defenition of socialistic and also see him point out the differences in the Swedish and US school systems that make the Swedish system cookie cutter compared to the US system.


1 - You have very little understanding of what went down with this case. The right to homeschool, according to the laws in place at the time of Domenic's placing in state custody, was not supposed to be arbitrary. A denial of an application to homeschool should have been accompanied by a valid reason as to it was denied. It wasn't in this case. In MN and most other US states, we don't ask permission to homeschool, just as a public school does not ask my permission to school my child. We simply notify of our intent, and then bear the burden of proving that we're homeschooling according to the law. Each state handles this differently.
Well, this is an old post, I hope that by now you have a better grasp on what really happened. One of the charges against the parents was a cavity that Domenic had, but interestingly, this was not known until after his was placed in custody. In fact, there were no charges which could have been 'valid' before hand.

And really, who cares about HSDLA here anyways? The focus should be on the family and the social services of Gotland, and yes, the Swedish state. I'm one of these cookie-cutter schooled children too, and the fact that American children are also cookie-cuttered through compulsory schooling does not make this situation anymore ok.

Homeschooling in Sweden is no longer legal.

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