Brazil News and Views

Brazilian Supreme Court Bans Homeschooling

Over on our personal Facebook page we’ve been posting updates on a process to legalize homeschooling here in Brazil that has been making its way through the courts.

The final ruling was handed down yesterday, and it was not good.

Translation: Supreme Court decides that parents cannot remove their children from schools to teach them at home.

Conservative Brazilian commentator Sara Winter summed it up…

Translation: You may not have heard, but the court just affirmed that our children belong more to the state than to the parents, saying the the educational system exists to preserve the children from the influence of their parents, prohibiting them from deciding what is the best way to educate them.

And Ms. Winter was not exaggerating at all. Here is another observer with a direct quote from one of the judges:

Translation: Is there anything more communist than this???? In his vote, (Supreme Court Justice) Fux went so far as to say that “Education seeks to protect children from their parents”!

This is far from a fringe opinion. In this video the man commenting on this expresses the same sentiment at about the :50 mark.

At another point in the proceedings, the same judge had this to say:

“Um dos primeiros objetivos da educação é livrar as crianças da visão de mundo dos seus pais, para que assim ela aprenda a viver em um mundo de pluralidade de ideias.”

Translation: “One of the first objectives of education is to free the children of the worldview of their parents, so that they may learn to live in a world of a plurality of ideas.”

Many Brazilians are seeing this for just what it is…a power grab by the State.

Translation: The veto of homeschooling…by the Supreme Court represents disrespect of the freedom of choice of the parents, transferring the power of decision about education to the whims of the State.

There are many parents here in Brazil who are already homeschooling, and were in hopes that a positive ruling would legitimize their efforts. In this, they were greatly disappointed.

One sent me the following text:

“Seguiremos fazendo a educação domiciliar, mesmo correndo risco de sermos denunciados.”

Translation: We will continue to homeschool, even running the risk of being turned in.

This is not just a question of whether or not you can teach your children at home. This is a fight over the basic concept of who our children belong to – and has implications for homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike.

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