I think that I should say a few final words about this business, because I have now been in touch with the Friends of Domenic Johansson group. I asked what the inaccuracies were in what I had previously written and it seems to amount to this. I wrote in the first piece which I posted:
'They were harassed by the authorities and tried to leave the country so that they could home educate their son in peace somewhere else.'
Apparently this is not true and the Johanssons did not intend to home educate their son at all. In fact, all along they wanted him to attend school; they just wanted him to start at eight rather than seven. This is very puzzling, because of course those connected with the family thought that they were hoping to home educate the boy in India. Mats Tunehaga, for example, is President of the Swedish Evangelical Alliance. He knows the Johanssons and says,
'Annie is from a Christian family in India, and they had planned for some time to move there to live, work and to homeschool Dominic.'
This is quoted on the HSLDA site. On the Dominic Johansson Blog, there is this,
'Swedish officials removed this boy from an international flight solely to prevent his parents from moving to another nation and from educating him in a manner that is lawful in India, in Sweden, and in a majority of nations.'
And yet now I am told that this is all untrue. I know that most people who have signed petitions and contacted the Swedish authorities to protest about this were under the impression that the Johanssons were home educators and I am sure that many will be surprised to discover that their intention has always been to send their son to school. This after all was an integral aprt of the whole story, that the Johanssons were leaving Sweden so that they could follow the educational methods of their choice. It makes it very puzzling too that the founder of the HSLDA, Michael Farris, is named as the Johanssons' representative on the documents for the European Court of Human Rights. Why is he involved if the Johanssons are not home educators?
Another possibility is that the Friends of Dominic Johansson are mistaken about this. In the same message they told me that home education is illegal in India, which is absolutely untrue. I would be curious to hear other people's views about this. Was I the only one who believed that the Johanssons are home educators who were leaving Sweden so that they could home educate their child in India? If this is untrue, why is it on so many sites connected with the case? Why have so many people signed petitions based upon this belief? Very odd. It is clear to me that the more questions I ask about this case, the stranger it becomes!
It is unlikely that we will ever know fully the facts of this case. What has become very obvious though is that it is being used as a stalking horse by certain American groups who have an agenda of their own, concerned with matters such as America's possible ratification of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child. From the moment I began looking into this case, it was pretty plain that there was a strong American connection. Two of the people named as the Johanssons' representatives on the application to the European Court of Human Rights are Michael Farris and Roger Kiska. Michael Farris is an American Baptist Minister who founded the Home School Legal Defense Association. Roger Kiska works for the right wing American Christian organisation, the Alliance Defense Fund. Even the Friends of Dominic Johansson group is in the USA.
Now of course if left wing, Humanist home educators in this country wish to climb into bed metaphorically with right wing American Christians, that is really none of my business. For that reason, I shall not be making any more posts about this. I originally did so because various people in Sweden had been named and their motives criticised and condemned. School teachers, government officials, social workers and so on have all been written about and denounced by people who evidently take everything they read at face value. If a home educator says something; it must be true. If a teacher or social worker says something; that must be a lie. I just wanted to put the case that there may be a little more to all this than meets the eye. Since making my initial post on the subject, this has been strongly confirmed. Those who wish to delve deeper into the matter could do worse than follow some of the leads which I have mentioned here. I have an idea, for instance, that many home educating parents in this country would be horrified to read about some of the activities of people like the Alliance Defense Fund. Anyway, I have published a correction to what I first wrote, even though the correction itself raises more questions than it answers! I shall be watching with interest how this affair develops over the coming months.