…Supporters of the family did come out. With time, more Swedish people are becoming aware of what is going on in their country, despite a virtual media blackout. As the clampdown accelerates, Swedes are speaking out. Jonas Himmelstrand, the president of the Swedish Home Education Association and the founder of the family-policy think tank Mireja Institute, has been traveling the world warning of the dangers of Swedish family and education policies. In the last year he’s been to Portugal, Belgium, Italy, Canada, Hungary, and more — sometimes invited by government. Soon he will be sounding the alarm at the United Nations in New York.
“You have to see [the attack on homeschooling] in the broader scope of the view of family in Sweden,” Himmelstrand told Crisis Magazine, citing the state daycare system that now cares for more than 90 percent of children older than 18 months. “Our government has basically taken on the role of child-rearing to a certain extent.” He also noted that Swedish schools are under heavy criticism for producing poor results, both socially and academically — which may lead more parents to discover how successful homeschooling actually is.
The Domenic Johansson case, while not unique in Sweden, has homeschoolers in particular very worried. “This is a case which seems incomprehensible to many Swedes,” Himmelstrand explained, noting that he understood why it would lead to protests. “It’s not the only case where the social authorities have done something which seems to lack all sense and all humanity.”