Submissions to the House of Keys Committee on the Isle of Man’s controversial Education Bill can now be read here
. Some may not have been published at the request of respondents.
Of special interest is Allan Norman‘s incisive (and highly entertaining) submission on behalf of a group of Island home educators concerned about the ramifications of the Bill. The Solicitor-General comes in for quite a pasting.
We have previously opined that seeking to rely on the German ban on home education (originally enacted by Hitler) in order to erase the rights of a minuscule minority of citizens is not a good look for the Tynwald or the Solicitor-General; nor is it relevant in this case.
Likening the Tynwald’s tactics to ‘slinging a dead cat on the table’, Allan notes that, unlike the Wunderlich family’s unsuccessful attempt to overturn the status quo that prohibits ‘home schooling’ in Germany, home educators on the Isle of Man are making no such challenge to existing, rights-respecting arrangements; rather, it is their legislature that is plotting a coup d’état to overthrow the established educational status quo and therefore must justify its interference with citizens’ human rights.
You cannot just point to another country in Europe that does it differently, and copy them. You need to demonstrate that there is a good reason to make the change, to interfere with human rights, and that this is the least intrusive and most proportionate way of dealing with the social problem you have identified. The fact that Germany’s long-standing ban on homeschooling was upheld is a complete distraction from the very different legal issues on the Island.
A longstanding civil liberties campaigner has meanwhile spotted glaring conflicts of interest within the House of Keys Committee membership, noting that:
“It is troubling that the Isle of Man’s close knit parliamentary system seems unable to challenge such an obvious and undemocratic conflict of interest”. Ann Corlett is a Departmental member (junior minister) and Lawrie Hooper was previously in the Department helping to set up the Bill. It’s an unbelievable situation. What are these characters going to do? Ask themselves questions?
We have home educating friends on the Isle of Man and have been closely following this latest brazen assault on their rights: