One of the most awful consequences of Graham Badman’s enquiry into home educating was that quite a few home educating parents began quoting Pastor Niemoller; the anti-Nazi church leader who was imprisoned in a concentration camp for years. I am sure that we are all familiar with what he said, which is often phrased in the form of a poem, ‘First they came for the…’ More particularly, reference is made to the Jews,
Then they came for the Jews,
And I didn’t speak out because I wasn’t a Jew.
That anybody could be so hideously crass as to compare the extermination of six million Jews with receiving a circular from the council defies all belief and yet it is still happening. The latest example is on a blog about home education and it may be found here:
The author of the blog, Nikki Harper, was, like all home educators known to Lincolnshire County Council, sent a letter outlining their new policy and it was this which prompted her to compare her suffering to that of Pastor Niemoller and the Jews who died in the Holocaust. It is little wonder that many local authorities regard home educating parents askance when this sort of nonsense is common. Of course, she is not the first home educator to compare herself to Pastor Niemoller, nor I suspect will she be the last. I urge home educating parents to consider how offensive this sort of thing is to Jews and how monumentally tacky it appears to those who are not.