A 12-year-old boy in Norway is back at home after being removed from his home by police because his parents chose homeschooling.
The parents of Kai Kristiansen pulled their son from school due to bullying and began homeschooling him, which is legal but rare in Norway.
In a video filmed by the mother that went viral (see below), the young boy is seen running from police who tackle him in the snow to take him from his parents.
The young boy's mother, Terese, is a Canadian citizen and father, Leif, is from Norway. The family moved from Canada to Norway last year.
Terese Kristiansen told Canadian media that the mother and father were homeschooling Kai temporarily after the first school refused to allow transfer to another school.
The family followed the law during the transition, she said, but the country's child protective service known as "Barnevernet" overreacted and removed the child from them for a week.
"We're really happy that Kai is home," says attorney Michael P. Donnelly of Homeschool Legal Defense Association (HSLDA).
"It's really actually miraculous," he advises, "because when I first spoke with the family about two weeks ago when this first happened, I figured it was going to be at least five or six months before they were going to get him home."
The family was forced to surrender its Canadian passports of part of a court agreement to get their son returned to them. He is set to return to a new school after spring break.
When Kai was removed from the home, HSLDA reached out to the American homeschool community and beyond, asking them to sign a petition and contact the Norwegian embassy.
Donnelly works with homeschoolers around the world as part of HSLDA's mission.
"Homeschooling is legal in Norway," Donnelly points out. "Some people do it but it's not very common."
He says Norwegian authorities must learn from this incident and investigate their system, which has also removed children from a home in 2016 because local government officials opposed the Bodinariu family's Christian values.
"It took them nine months to get their kids," Donnelly recalls, "because the authorities have so much power."
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