The Return of the Bureaucrats – Laura Dekker Strikes the Dutch Flag

A Dutch flag no more, Laura now flies the flag of New Zealand

Laura Dekker’s sailboat, Guppy, now flies a New Zealand flag from her stern.  Laura has struck the Dutch colors as the bureaucrats who tried and initially succeeded in stopping her solo voyage have returned to pester her and her family once more. They are now complaining that Laura has not kept up with her school work.  In 2009, a Dutch court blocked Dekker’s planned voyage and put her under the custody of the Council for Child Protection, the Dutch government’s umbrella childcare agency.  That order was reversed in July of 2010. One of the conditions of lifting the ban on her sailing was that she would continue her secondary-school education through an online teaching programme set up for Dutch-speaking children abroad.  Now Dutch truant officers are upset that Laura has not been doing  her homework.

During her voyage, Laura was sufficiently busy with sailing that she fell behind on her lessons. Now Dutch truant officers have demanded a meeting with Laura’s father, Dick Dekker, which he has refused to attend. The Dutch officials  are threatening to refer the matter back to the Dutch childcare agency.  Laura, however, holds both Dutch and New Zealand passports, as she was born on a sailboat in New Zealand when her parents were cruising the world. Laura Dekker has struck the Dutch flag from Guppy’s stern and has raised the flag of New Zealand.   She is currently less than 1700 miles from her next scheduled port of call, St. Martin.  The island is controlled by the Dutch and the French.  Perhaps she should consider landing on the French side of the island.

Teenage globe sailor takes down Dutch flag

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8 Responses to The Return of the Bureaucrats – Laura Dekker Strikes the Dutch Flag

  1. Mike says:

    If the Dutch bureaucrats are anything to go by there is something sadly missing in the Dutch education system.
    On second thoughts a lack of common sense seems to be a prerequisite for any bureaucrats anywhere, I could also add bankers and politicians to that list.
    But it’s probably just envy, that one small girl is doing what most of them wouldn’t even dare to dream about.

  2. Love those rebellious teens!

  3. Mike P says:

    Why oh why cant they just leave the young girl alone. She’s having a wonderful once in a lifetime adventure. Surely she can complete her education at a later date ?
    Seems the system is so rigid it cannot adapt to her situation.
    She’s getting a far better life education than any pen pushing jotter blotter can give her.

  4. Phil says:

    I was only worried the pirates would get her and make her one of their sex slaves.

  5. Pingback: Laura Dekker, Mark Twain, the Internet and the Media | Old Salt Blog – a virtual port of call for all those who love the sea

  6. robert stewart says:

    It should not be too difficult to settle the matter for all concerned: Simply get the young lady’s assurance she’ll finish her education after her adventure is behind her.

  7. Rick Spilman says:

    I think that it is a non-issue already. Laura has always said that she plans on going back to school once she returns from her trip. That won’t satisfy the specific complaints of the administrators who are upset now, but then who cares?

  8. sani abdullahi says:

    u have made it baby, n i like ur effort , courage n determination, welldone.