When the government knows better than the parents what is good for their child…this is the horrifying result.
HSLDA reports: What should have been a happy homecoming to Norway for Leif and Terese Kristiansen turned into a parent’s worst nightmare when the Barnevernet (Norway’s child welfare agency) brutally removed their son, Kai, after they started homeschooling.
The family had been living in Canada, where Terese and Kai are citizens. They returned recently to Norway in search of new opportunities.
But at the local public school, 12-year-old Kai became the victim of merciless bullying. School officials did not resolve the situation.
To protect Kai from further trauma, his parents did the responsible and loving thing: they removed him from the school and immediately began to homeschool him. By choosing to homeschool their son, the Kristiansens did what the state or public school would not do . . . keep Kai safe and provide him with a healthy learning environment.
As if being the victim of school bullying wasn’t enough, on Thursday, February 9, 12-year-old Kai was hunted down and then tackled in the snow by Barnevernet agents and police.
In a Facebook video of the incident that has already been watched over 600,000 times, Kai’s mother, Terese, looks on in terror, screaming for help as Kai is chased by the police and the Barnevernet. “My son is being stolen by Barnevernet in Norway because we want to homeschool!” Terese shouted as helpless friends and neighbors watched.
Kai can be heard screaming “No!” over and over as the police and a Barnevernet investigator attempt to subdue him and take him into custody pursuant to an order from the local authorities.
The 12-year-old was ordered into state custody because his family chose to homeschool.
HSLDA Director of Global Outreach Michael Donnelly spoke with Kai’s mother, Terese.
“We had hoped that we would be welcomed in our own home country,” she told him. “But I am living a nightmare; I can’t believe what they did to my son.”
Donnelly has previously seen the overreach of the Barnevernet through his work on behalf of the Bodinariu family, whose children were taken because Norwegian authorities said they disagreed with the Christian values of the parents.
Donnelly said that it’s especially important for the homeschool community to support families in cases such as these.
“An attack like this is an attack on homeschooling,” he said. “Parents are the ones who have the right to decide how their children are educated and what is best for them. Parents do not have to give a reason for homeschooling, but the Kristiansens were well-justified in taking their son out of school in order to keep him from being bullied.”
“Homeschooling is no justification to take a child by force,” he added. “This action was a gross violation of Kai’s human rights and his parents’ rights. We are calling on Norwegian officials to immediately return Kai to his parents. We will do whatever we can to see justice done for Kai.”
“As of right now, the family has been permitted only one weekly supervised two-hour visit with Kai. Although a court hearing is scheduled for February 15, it would be a miracle if the authorities were to immediately release Kai. Let’s pray that happens,” he concluded.
Kai’s father explained: “We repeatedly said the school is not a good fit for our son, but they did not listen. In the end, we were worried about his mental and physical health. So, in the New Year, we notified the school and decided to temporarily homeschool until we agreed on a good school to transfer to.”
Skorstad said that the family’s decision to remove their son from school is what drove the state to act. “The authorities wrote that the boy needs to be in school for socialization purposes.”
Barnevernet officials had said the family were “avoiding them,” and when the parents decided to homeschool Kai, they took custody.
The family’s Oslo-based lawyer, Trond Olsen Næss, has denied Barnevernet’s allegation, saying that the family had been in contact with the authorities, but that the agency had moved too fast.
Life Site News reports – Insanely enough, the Kristiansens are not accused of any abusive behavior towards their son. Rather, the parents had grown increasingly concerned about the bullying their son faced at school and had made the decision to homeschool him. The Kristiansens had informed the school of their decision—homeschooling isn’t illegal in Norway—and had also informed Barnevernet, the “child protection agency” that showed up to take their son away. The reason given for this government kidnapping was rife with painful irony: Apparently, social workers were concerned that if Kai were homeschooled, he would not be appropriately “socialized.” They didn’t comment on the trauma they had inflicted by removing a boy from a loving home by force and against his will.
To make the situation even stranger, the Kristiansens were not even told that their son would be taken from them if they did not send him back to school. Barnevernet officials simply showed up with an “emergency order” to take him to a foster home and into the care of the government—for the non-crime of pulling their son out of a government school. It is horrifying to consider what these parents must be going through right now—at the mercy of faceless bureaucrats who are keeping their son from them, in an undisclosed location—parents who have not even been accused of any abuse.
We’re already starting to see disturbing signs here in North America. Provincial governments are creating new curriculums that indoctrinate students into social justice ideology as well as implementing sex education curriculum that conflicts with the values of many parents—and most political progressives don’t think parents should be permitted to opt out. They believe, fundamentally, that children belong to the state—and some have come right out and said so. Parental rights in education will be one of the defining social battles of our time, because if we lose it—we lose the rights to our own sons and daughters.
Consider what has already befallen two Ohio parents this year, who were forced by government authorities to give up custody of their daughter. And why? Because after she was diagnosed with depression, gender dysphoria, and anxiety, they opposed her being given testosterone and sex change drugs, because they felt that such “treatment” would not be in their daughter’s best interests. Because of this stance, their daughter was removed from their care. Gender ideologies that are barely a decade old can now result in the loss of your children—and these threats will only continue to grow.
It is absolutely essential that we be paying attention to events like this, and that we make our voices heard. It is easy for those who send their children to a private Christian school or homeschool to perhaps think that their families are safe, and that what goes on in the public school system will not impact them. But this is unfortunately not the case. The ideologues will never be satisfied until children of all parents—especially their opponents—are indoctrinated into their ideas.