Christian Hybrid School Forcibly Closed by German Authorities

Country: Germany

Date of incident: October 19, 2023

The Dietrich Bonhoeffer International School in Germany was forced to close for the year by German education authorities. The school has been open for 9 years with an award-winning pedagogical model. Germany has banned homeschooling, hybrid schools, and has tightened restrictions on private schools. German authorities wrote to the school that "the immediate enforcement of prohibitions is ordered", preventing students from continuing their schooling there for the rest of the year. The government has also fined the school 600 euros in administrative fees. Authorities stated that the school website was an "advertisement for the impermissible school", and was ordered to be shut down. The school is arguing that Germany is violating national and international human rights law - including parents' rights to educate their children in accordance with their philosophical and religious convictions - with its ban on homeschooling, along with other restrictions on education. An urgency lawsuit to reopen the school is currently pending.

Since 2014, the education provider filed multiple times for accreditation for two additional hybrid schools based on the same pedagogical model. The administrative courts admitted to the satisfactory level of education but critized it on the basis that due to the hybrid nature of the school, students do not spend enough time together during breaks and between lessons. Therefore, the state's "educational mandate" could not be satisfied, and accreditation was repeatedly denied. 

sources: ADF InternationalThe Christian Post

picture: Unsplash