Illegal study groups – an absurd combination of words that one could actually laugh about if it weren’t so sad. Many awakened parents have brought their children to safety from the mania for measures in the past year, signed them out of regular classes and taught them at home. Isolde Mitter, entrepreneur and author, is one of them and can sing a song about the harassment by the authorities.
An interview with Edith Brötzner
Isolde Mitter is an awareness trainer, author, dedicated homeschooler mom and founder of the Freispielinnen club. Although “schooling at home” has been around in Austria for years, it has been on the rise, especially in the past year caught in the crossfire of the Directorate of Education and the Ministry of Education. More and more parents are protecting their offspring from the harassing corona measures in schools and are deregistering them from regular classes – alone three times more parents than usual last year. When there was no end in sight to masks, tests and the like in schools last autumn, entrepreneur Isolde Mitter also decided to teach her child at home. As part of the Association “free player” she joins forces with other parents, seeks support from educators and works out successful homeschooling concepts.
Harassment instead of child welfare
After a turbulent year, Mitter now takes stock: There is no support from the Ministry of Education and the Education Directorate. Instead, the homeschooler parents are being fought with no end. The harassment reported by the committed mother make the study groups appear like “illegal cellar dumpling productions”.. Many parents are even threatened with the youth welfare office. The real well-being of the child does not seem to play a role for the education department. If that were the case, parents would be supported with all available means instead of fighting them. While the ÖVP still calls for denunciation and reporting of “illegal learning groups” at the beginning of school, at the end of the school year you resort to the last available means: you torment the already stressed parents with constant changes in the general conditions for the external examinations. Many cannot withstand the pressure and flee back to the old school system.
Get out of the school system
Not so Isolde Mitter. Despite many adversities and an unfounded complaint accusing her of running an “unregistered private school”, she does not allow herself to be dissuaded from her course. For them there is no way back into the old school system. For parents hoping for an action-free fall, she sees it as rather black. Anyone who is also considering an exit from the madness in schools and their child in one “Freeplay” study group would like to get a taste of it, it is best to contact Isolde Mitter directly.