7. Scheller's Way

Conform and Be Content...or Else

by C.C.M.Warren M.A.(Oxon), Retired Professional Educator

To Jan Björklund, the Education Minister, homeschoolers do not exist, or should be exterminated. He refuses to speak or or have a meaningful dialogue with any homeschooler or our spokes-organisation, Rohus. An Education Department functionary (Erik Scheller) has, however, apparently been authorised to now speak on behalf of the department and government. At the end of this essay is a letter from a homeschooling mother, Caroline, and Erik Scheller's perfunctory reponse. Aside from the political woffle and total avoidance of the real issue, all that Scheller really said was that the government is close-minded, dogmatic and will not budge:

    "The government's line is now, however, definitively established".

Indeed it is, in excellent totalitarian tradition. Homeschooling is not even open for discussion. It is "bad" and must be banned, and all good parents will now, at pain of being fined, suffering imprisonment and having their children kidnapped by unaccountable officials, be forced to send their children to the State's School Gulags. And what can we now say with any degree of certainty? That the Centre-Right coalition government of the "democratic" Kingdom of Sweden is truly fascist with respect to education, and means to continue this lovely country's slide into totalitarianism. My only question now is this: will the Social Democrats stand up for freedom and pluralism or will they agree with the current government? If they'll defend us, I hope they win the next general election. If they won't, then Sweden must continue its slippery slide.

[Note: The Social Democrats lost the election and everything continues as before....]

Meanwhile political refugees from Swedish educational fascism are already leaving the country in anticipation of the coming Gulag and are heading for havens of freedom elsewhere in the EU. One family has moved to Finland and another, who wrote to me today, is leaving for Ireland. They are terrified, after what happened to Domenic Johannsson, to even set foot on Swedish soil in case their children are kidnapped and removed from their family. When we fear government, totalitarianism has arrived. When government fears the people, democracy is thriving.

O Sweden, was has happened to you? Have you learned nothing from history? Why are you so blind?

Sweden is not, of course alone in this - it is simply following the drumbeat of an old and dangerous political philosophy dressed up to look democratic and freedom-loving when history has already demonstrated that it is the very opposite and highly dangerous. The "democratic" part is merely a veneer, an illusion. Let me explain in a way that everyone - including some utopian politicians - can understand, by recruiting the help of Leon Tolstoy who related this simple parable:

    "I see humanity as a herd of cattle inside a fenced enclosure. Outside the fence are green pastures with plenty for the cattle to eat, while inside the fence there is not quite grass enough for the cattle. Consequently, the cattle are trampling underfoot what little grass there is and goring each other to death in their struggle for existence.

    "I saw the owner of the herd come to them and when he saw their pitiable condition he was filled with compassion for them, and thought what he could do to improve their condition. So he called his friends together and asked them to assist him in cutting the grass from outside the fence and throwing it over the fence to the cattle. And they called that charity.

    "Then, because the calves were dying off and not growing into serviceable cattle, he arranged that they should each have a liter of milk every morning for breakfast. Because they were dying off in the cold night he put up beautiful well-drained and well-ventilated cow sheds for the cattle. Because they were goring each other in the struggle for existence he put corks on the horns of the cattle so that the wounds they gave each other might not be so serious. Then he reserved a part of the enclosure for the old bulls and the old cows over seventy years of age. In fact, he did everything he could do to improve the conditions of the cattle.

    "And when they asked him why he did not do the obvious thing - break down the fences and let the cattle out, he answered: 'If I let the cattle out, I should no longer be able to milk them.'"
    (Leo Tolstoy)

Anybody with a modicum of intelligence can understand what Tolstoy was talking about. It is STATE CONTROL OF PEOPLE. The same truths apply to education and state-sponsored schools. Now if the cattle want to stay in the government-erected enclosure and force the children to think in one way,that is the privilege of the children and their parents to choose that opion. I absolutely believe in free choice, even for that kind of existence, though it is not for me. But take the fence down for those who want to homeschool or pursue some other form of education, and let the rest will stay behind if they want to.

A British State School teacher made this observation in a report that was submitted to the British Government in its recent deliberations as to whether or not to regulate homeschooling (they decided not to). If you can, read his entire essay:

    "We make children believe that their future depends on their school attendance. However, we set them up to fail, because in trying to learn by the school method they find it hard to maintain interest, they get bored, they want to go and play - and we teach them to interpret this as their failure. We tell them to concentrate when they can't. At least not for a 6 period day. Some turn against themselves becoming withdrawn, depressed, anxious or switched off, others feel it as an acute injustice, and turn against authority, enjoying the disruption and consequential pantomime they can create around them. Changing these behaviour patterns which they learn at a very young age is very difficult, despite well meaning intervention, and by 16 few leave school as thriving learners - just listen to prospective employers and Universities Admissions Officers.

    "Most children hate school. Their uncontrollable excitement at the end of the day, week or year is palpable and symptomatic of released suppression - as a teacher I witness this regularly and it does not feel healthy and is nothing I can be proud of
    (The Keir Watson Memorandum on the Badman Report - highly recommended reading)

But Mr. Scheller lives in his fantasy world of wishful thinking, along with Mr. Björklund when he writes to Caroline:

    "I both hope and believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by the school environment in the future you may meet more frequently. Swedish school faces major challenges but I do not share the consistently negative picture of the school environment you paint. Let us not forget that the major reforms now taking place, no mob pressed back and re-school knowledge. I hope you will continue to find that the school is a place where both your and others' children may develop in safe forms. Until then, I understand that you will continue to be angry, disappointed, and I do not think my words will be able to change your opinions. Let us now come to the conclusion that we think differently and put our energy on creating new opportunities where the old conditions are now changing".

He must think we are naïve fools. Who cares about the "school environment in the future"? I care about the school environment now. And what guarantees does he have? What scientific proof? None. Scheller is expressing a religious belief, whether humanist or anything else, it does not matter. He reminds me of something Hitler said in a Nazi Party Rally in 1935: "We believe in ourselves!" Well, I am glad Mr. Scheller and his dysfunctional government believe in their gulag law but for me education is based on scientific facts, not his faith. His faith isn't mine. I want what is testable and already tested. Let him try out his new system and then, in 20, 30, 100 or a 1,000 years time when he has eliminated bullying, drugs, bad language which his gulag fosters, and then I will reconsider. In the meantime, I want my right and to give my children what is best for them. And frankly, his faith in an unproven system is not the best for my children. That's my choice. So kindly let me exercise it in true freedom.

Because of all the compulsory school visits I must make with my children now, I am in and out of the state schools here many times a month and I see the reality. They're not going to change that any time in the near future because all social change is slow. You can't just reprogram them unless you apply fascist techniques. Is that why Scheller is so confident? Do he and soldier Björklund mean to turn school into more of a military camp? Do they mean to beat school children into good behaviour? Discussing it with them hasn't worked, has it? No, they have no known solution because children aren't made in school but at home where they are loved. No matter what promises Scheller makes, which neither he nor the government can possibly keep, I still don't want my children there. My children don't want to be there. At home they enjoy learning. During the compulsory visits to school they return home bored, exhausted and disspirited.The utopian myth is better saved for the brainwashed in his own staff because it's just wishful thinking.

Our last hope is that the mass of politicians arises from its slumber and says NO to this nonsense when the time to vote comes in June. [Sadly, but not unexpectedly, they did not]. Mr.Scheller understood that Caroline was angry but didn't care. I am angry too. And not just homeschoolers. A lot of Swedish libertarians are angry. Why are we angry? Because this is unjust and wicked. It would cost the government nothing and gain them respect if they were just to change two or three lines in their proposed new legislation but they seem determined to be bloody-minded and autocratic. I wish the Swedish people could be given direct democracy so that these apologies of men and women could be kicked out of office. They're abusing the trust of the electorate. And if this were the reverse of communist China they'd be off to re-education camps in the countryside. Clearly they are not as educated as many children. They have learned nothing. Worse, if this government means to turn me into a criminal when I am not, or the other homeschoolers in this country when they are not, then I am forced to only one conclusion: this is a criminal regime. Taking care of and educating my children is not a crime in any sane person's mind which leads one to another conclusion and that is that this regime is insane too. And the fact that this government endorses the kidnapping of Domenic Johannsson just proves it. As one commentator noted in a letter to Gotland municipality:

    "Have you people gone insane? What kind of monsters are you to use a little boy and his mother as pawns in your stupid political game? Grow up and act like responsible adults - release the boy AND his parents!They weren't fighting you, they were leaving, and you act like spoiled children!" (John K. Spinuzzi).

As homeschoolers we deal with the real world while the government hides in its ivory tower. It's behaviour is reprehensible and it needs international censure. Mr. Scheller's letter to Caroline was patronising, disrespectful and humiliating. Basically all he said was:

    "Get over it, you've lost and we've won because we have more power than you, so be a good little girl, because Big Brother knows best. Just wait and see, Big Brother will take care of everything. Just give us our children (they're not yours anymore) and I promise we will be good mental surgeons, just like Pappa Björklund said. We'll fill their empty heads with the right stuff."

More than anything else I would like to see the ordinary Swedish man and woman wake up to see how they have been duped by a system that is long overdue for a major rehauling. We don't want Big Brother any more. We want our freedom. My country Great Britain is waking up to this and sensibly threw out the Labour Government's attempt to regiment homeschoolers. I really hope that yours will too.

Swedish Originals of the Correspondence Between

Homeschooling Mother Caroline and Erik Scheller

(9 April 2010)

Bästa Caroline,

Jag förstår och har stor respekt för att den nya skollagen kan uppröra om man har landat i en annan slutsats än regeringen.

De många remissvar som har kommit in, du kan själv läsa alla på http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/12023, har varit en del av det beslutsunderlag som regeringen använts sig av. Det är politikens själ och syfte att avgöra frågor där meningar går isär och därför kan regeringen aldrig tillgodose alla önskemål som kommer i remissvaren, det innebär inte att dessa har varit oviktiga. Som du vet har också brev som dina samt de många möten departementsledningen haft med Rohus hjälp oss att bygga ut beslutsunderlaget. Regeringens linje är nu dock slutgiltigt fastställd.

Jag både hoppas och tror att du kommer att bli positivt överraskad av den skolmiljö du framöver kan komma att möta mer frekvent. Svensk skola står inför stora utmaningar men jag delar inte den konsekvent negativa bild av skolmiljön du målar upp. Låt oss inte glömma att stora reformer nu sker mobbingen trycks tillbaka och kunskapsskolan återupprättas. Jag hoppas att du i framtiden kommer att finna att skolan är en plats där både dina och andras barn kan utvecklas under trygga former. Tills dess förstår jag att du kommer fortsätta att vara arg besviken, och jag tror inte att mina ord kommer att kunna ändra dina åsikter. Låt oss därför nu komma till slutsatsen att vi anser olika och lägga vår energi på att skapa nya möjligheter där gamla förutsättningar nu förändras.

Med vänliga hälsningar

Erik Scheller



Caroline's Original Letter
30 March 2010

Till Jan Björklund angående hemundervisningen


Jag har skickat 10 brev till dig och fått två svar från Erik Scheller att ”utbildningsminister Jan Björklund tackar för dina intressanta synpunkter”. Tydligen var de inte så intressanta eftersom jag inte har fått något vettigt svar, och så vill ni ändra skollagen till att omöjliggöra vår livssituation, och därmed förstöra för våra barn. En vän till mig har fått samma schablonsvar från Erik. Det låter ju bra men, betyder väl i själva verket ingenting.

Jag är medveten om att du är upptagen, men om ni nu vill lagstifta bort våra liv, så är det ändå oförskämt att inte gå med på att träffa oss, och sätta er in i vad det är ni vill lagstifta bort. Det framkommer så mycket okunnighet och fördomar från ert håll. Om det hade varit så att ni hade lyssnat till oss, och låtit det lagliga utrymmet vara kvar, så hade det inte varit lika nödvändigt med dialog, men nu då ni avser göra oss detta, så borde det vara självklart, att träffa oss och verkligen lyssna och förstå.

Vi är så förtvivlade. Jag och min man och våra barn är förtvivlade. Alla de andra familjerna är förtvivlade.

Du har sagt att vi skulle lägga ner energi på att skriva ett ordentligt remissvar. Det har vi gjort. Jag läste att det hade kommit in 60 st. remissvar bara på denna enda lagparagraf. Ändå visar ni ingen som helst hänsyn till detta utan fortsätter att tro:

    "att det behövs pedagoger, att det är risk att vi isolerar oss, att barn behöver social träning".

Ni har vägrat att ta till er att:

Hemskolebarn i allmänhet har högre kunskapsnivå än skolbarn.

Hemskolebarn oftast har fler och mer varierade sociala kontakter.

Framförallt vägrar ni ifrågasätta den sociala miljön i skolan.

Saken är den att skolmiljön idag är alldeles katastrofal. Vad jag har bevittnat de här åren är att det haglar könsord och svärord och sexanspelningar hela dagen lång. En miljö som är ovärdig för alla inblandade. Det är för mig obegripligt att vi vuxna låter detta fortgå, och vill tvinga alla barn dit. Där råder ett förakt mot varandra, mot kunskap, mot lärarna, mot hela vuxenvärlden, vilket gör att lärarna hela tiden får jobba i motvind.

Du har ju själv uttryckt i media att skolmiljön har försämrats avsevärt de senaste 10 åren. Erik Scheller skrev till mig att ”var 3e tonårstjej har ångest”. Typ 50 000 tjejer!

Problemet är att många barn idag lider av brist på livsmotivation. Detta kan du inte åtgärda genom lagstiftning om ”ordning och reda” och ”hårdare tag”. Det är djupare problem än så.

Orsaken till misären i skolan är helt klart att tiden har minskat för barn att träffa sina föräldrar. Barn behöver mer tid med sina föräldrar, annars kan de inte känna sig trygga, får svårt med sin identitet, får allehanda ångestproblem, och kan heller inte tillgodogöra sig speciellt mycket undervisning.

Det här samhället har tagit ifrån föräldrarna det viktigaste redskapet för föräldraskap, nämligen: TIDEN. Det går inte att uppehålla en stark relation om man inte träffas så mycket. Jag märker på kommentarer, att folk tar för givet att föräldrarelationen finns där, och den finns där men den urholkas pga. brist på tid. Om man inte träffas på hela dagen, förrän efter träningen på kvällen, så är alla trötta, och orkar inte umgås så mycket.

Man får ofta höra att barnen och ungdomarna behöver skolan för att förbereda sig för vuxenlivet. Det är ofattbart att ens någon kan tro att man genom att vistas i denna bedrövliga miljö kan bli förberedd för vuxenlivet, jämfört med att umgås med en vuxen, som man har ett speciellt värde för.

Det är bra att förbättra skolan, men det är absolut nödvändigt, att ge mer utrymme åt föräldrarelationen, att släppa in föräldrar, inte bara som ”läxhjälp”. Vi behöver inse vikten av att föräldrarelationen är grunden för en människas liv. Den kan ersättas av annan vuxen, men lärarna i skolan har inte den ringaste chans att ge barnen det de behöver, i form av bekräftelse och ”life-coaching”.

Att ni nu ge er på de hundra hemskolebarnen är bara så obegripligt, och dessutom så kusligt och grymt. Naturligtvis är det kränkande. Som om det är vi som är ett stort problem i samhället. Det kan ni ju inte mena om ni bara tog reda på verkligheten och träffade oss. Jag anser det oerhört oförskämt av dig att vägra träffa oss, då du vill göra oss detta.

Om ni motiverar detta förbud med att det eventuellt kan finnas föräldrar som inte fungerar, och därför ämnar stoppa oss alla, så borde ni verkligen vara konsekventa och stänga alla skolor för det kommer ständigt rapporter om missförhållanden i skolor.

Hemundervisning är inte en del av problemet utan en del av lösningen!


Vänliga hälsningar Caroline …


Loose English Google Translation of the Correspondence

Dear Caroline,

I understand and have great respect for the new Education Act may be upset if you have landed in a different conclusion from the government.

The many responses that have been received, you can read all the self http://www.regeringen.se/sb/d/12023, has been part of the decision-making by the government made use of. It is the soul of politics and to determine matters where opinions differ, and therefore the government can never satisfy all the requests that come in the Comments, it does not mean that they were unimportant. As you know, also your letter as well as the many meetings with departmental management had Rohus help us to expand the basis for decision making. The government's line is now, however, definitively established.

I both hope and believe that you will be pleasantly surprised by the school environment in the future you may meet more frequently. Swedish school faces major challenges but I do not share the consistently negative picture of the school environment you paint. Let us not forget that the major reforms now taking place, no mob pressed back and re-school knowledge. I hope you will continue to find that the school is a place where both your and others' children may develop in safe forms. Until then, I understand that you will continue to be angry, disappointed, and I do not think my words will be able to change your opinions. Let us now come to the conclusion that we think differently and put our energy on creating new opportunities where the old conditions are now changing.


Erik Scheller

Management Department

Ministry of Education

To Jan Bjorklund about homeschooling

I want an answer to this letter. I have sent 10 letters to you and received two responses from Erik Scheller to "Minister Jan Björklund thank you for your interesting comments". Apparently they were not so interesting because I have not received any sensible answers, and so do you want to change the Education Act to exclude our life situation, and thereby destroy our children. A friend of mine has been the standard response from Eric. It sounds good but, does that mean in reality nothing. I am aware that you are busy, but if you now want to legislate away our lives, it is still rude to not agree to meet us, and bring you into what it is you want to legislate away. It reveals so much ignorance and prejudice from your direction. Had it been that you had listened to us, and let the legal space to be left, so had it not been so necessary dialogue, but now that you intend to do us this, so it should be obvious, to meet with us and really listen and understand.

We are so desperate. Me and my husband and our children are in despair. All the other families are in despair.

You have said that we would spend the energy to write a proper responses. We have done so. I read that it had received 60 pieces. responses only on this single statute. Yet you show no regard whatsoever for this, but continue to believe:

    "the need for educators , that there is a risk that we isolate ourselves, that children need social skills."

You have refused to acknowledge:

Homeschooling children generally have higher skill than schoolchildren.

Homeschooling children usually have more and more varied social contacts.

Especially if you refuse questioning of the social environment at school.

The point is that the school environment today is quite disastrous. What I have witnessed in these years is that it hails sexual words and swear words, and six plays all day long. An environment that is unworthy of all concerned. It is beyond me that we adults let this continue, and want to force all children where there is a contempt for one another, learning, the teachers, the whole adult world, which means that teachers must constantly work against the wind.

You have expressed yourself in the media that the school environment has deteriorated significantly in the last 10 years. Erik Scheller wrote to me that everyone 3e teenage girl has anxiety ". Type 50 000 girls!

The problem is that many children today suffer from lack of food motivation . That you can not resolve through legislation on "good order" and "tougher measures". There are deeper problems than that.

The cause of misery in school is quite clear that the time has decreased for children to meet his parents. Children need more time with their parents, otherwise they can not feel safe, have difficulty with their identity, may be all sorts of anxiety problems, and can not absorb that much teaching.

This society has taken away from parents the most important tool for parenthood , namely: TIME . Unable to sustain a strong relationship if you do not hit as much. I notice the comments that people take for granted that the parental relationship is there, and it is but where the eroded due. lack of time. If you do not hit on all day, until after training in the evening, so are all tired, and do not socialize as much.

We often hear that children and young people need education to prepare themselves for adult life. It is inconceivable that even someone might believe that by staying in this wretched environment can be prepared for adult life, compared with the company of an adult, which is has a special value for.

It is good to improve the school, but it is absolutely necessary, to give more prominence to the parental relationship, to let parents, not just as "homework". We need to recognize the importance of parental relationship is the basis of a person's life. It may be replaced by another adult, but the teachers at school have not the slightest chance to give children what they need, in the form of confirmation and life-coaching.

The fact that you now give you on the hundred homeschooled children is just so incomprehensible, and also so scary and cruel. Of course it is offensive. As if it is we who are a major problem in society. There you can of course do not mean if you just took out the reality and met us. I consider it extremely rude of you to refuse to meet us, then you want us to do this.

If you justify this ban that it may be parents who do not work, and therefore will stop us all, so you really ought to be consistent and close all schools because it will constantly report on abuses in schools.

Homeschooling is not part of the problem but part of the solution!

I want an answer to this letter.

Best regards

Caroline ...


Copyright © 2009-2010 C.C.M.Warren, M.A.(Oxon) - All Rights Reserved

Last updated on 13 December 2010