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Brazil: Federal Supreme Court Decides Homeschooling Not Allowed in Brazil

(Sept. 24, 2018) On September 12, 2018, the Brazilian Federal Supreme Court (Supremo Tribunal Federal, STF) denied an appeal requesting that homeschooling be considered a legitimate means for a family to fulfill its duty to provide education. (STF, Recurso Extraordinário (RE) 888815, STF website; STF Nega Recurso que Pedia Reconhecimento de Direito a Ensino Domiciliar, NOTÍCIAS STF (Sept. 12, 2018).)

The parents of an 11-year-old girl initiated the case by filing an appeal (mandado de segurança) in state trial court after the Secretary of Education of the Municipality of Canela in the state of Rio Grande do Sul denied their request that they be allowed to educate the child at home. The Secretary instead instructed the parents to enroll the child in the regular school network, where, until then, she had been a student. (STF Nega Recurso que Pedia Reconhecimento de Direito a Ensino Domiciliar, supra.)

The parents’ appeal was also denied in the appeals court of the state of Rio Grande do Sul (Tribunal de Justiça do Rio Grande do Sul), which decided that in the absence of a legal provision providing for homeschooling, there is no right for the court to protect. (Id.)

Upon an extraordinary appeal to the STF, the majority of the justices of the Supreme Court found that there is no legislation regulating the precepts and rules applicable to this modality of education and, therefore, the appeal would be dismissed. (Id.)