Greek child services snatch kid because mom decides to homeschool

It is easier for child social services to step in when a parent feels motivated to offer a high quality learning environment than in cases of abuse

Child social services removed an 8-year-old from the care of its mother after she refused to send it to school. The mother, a teacher, states that she prefered to home school her child rather than put it through the mill of the Greek education system that she assesses to be second-rate.

She states that, as an educator herself, she prefered to offer her child a more hands-on approach to learning that would be relevant and conducive to a more exciting educative process.

Lawyer Electra-Leda Koutra for the Hellenic Action for Human Rights – “Pleiades” – states:

“I was informed by the Prosecutor for Minors, following a call from their office, that if ‘my client did not bring certification of her child’s enrolment in a primary shool by Monday, then custody rights would be revoked.’ I asked ‘Like that? Without a trial?’ The response, ‘We will send the police to take the child. On Monday.’ I asked ‘Can you at least give this to us in writing? We don’t even have a document for the files we are creating. Ms. Secretary said, ‘No’. Then she hung up.

There was no documentation at any stage of the process. Not even when a social worker entered my client’s house to document a report on the child’s condition. There was no written evaluation, and there was not even a copy of the removal order. There was not even a written report when we appeared before the prosecutor and where I spent haf an hour explaining the judicial character of the case, and with the mother justifying the parameters of her conscious decision as a parent to offer activities – of a high calibre – to educate her daughter, based on the justified rights of both of them. No documentation when she was invited (again informally!) to appear again (with me) so that recommendations could be made despite the fact that I had submitted a memorandum of 128 pages explaining the reasons why the mother considered home schooling to be in the interests of her child.”