Sunday, 5 May 2013
The Domenic Johansson case crops up again
I was interested to see that on several home education lists in this country, attention is once again being drawn to the case of Domenic Johansson in Sweden. As some readers may recollect, this boy was being home educated by his parents in Sweden, who then attempted to leave the country to travel to India with their son. Since then, almost four years ago, the child has been in foster care.
What fascinates me about this business is the way that the story constantly changes and mutates, until you simply do not know what to believe. For example, when first we heard about it in 2009, it was a simple matter of the Swedish authorities not approving of home education and seizing the boy so that he could be sent to school in Sweden. However, the latest twist is that this does not appear to be what happened at all; at least according to his mother. See;
This is the first time that I have read an interview with the mother. All the other information about the case comes from either the father or from various American Christians. You will note that the mother does not seem to think that home education has anything to do with the authorities taking her son. She believes it was because he appeared to be neglected or that she and her husband were too poor to look after him.
There is mention of the famous earthquake in this article, according to which, ‘her husband was forced to return to his native country as his family had lost everything in the calamity’. I have heard half a dozen versions of this story too, including two different ones from the husband himself. In one version, he lost all his money and possessions not in the earthquake but by being robbed when he was in a taxi on the way to the airport to return to Sweden. In another, told to an American pastor, he tried unsuccessfully to get to the earthquake zone as he hoped to help there. The mother’s family claim that he was running a travel agency and lost the business as a result of the earthquake. I exchanged emails with Christer Johansson a few years ago, asking what had actually happened. He told me that he could not remember!
I would advise home educating parents in this country to be a little cautious about being drawn into this saga; at least until they have a definitive version of events. There is probably more to this case than meets the eye.