Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Quebec judge orders three-year-old into daycare for ‘socialization’

QUEBEC, May 6, 2011 (LifeSiteNews.com)

A Quebec judge has ordered a three-year-old and a five-year-old to attend state-funded day care following claims that the children lacked proper “socialization.”

The parents of the Notre-Dame-des-Bois family were also ordered to place their two elder homeschooled children in public schools, and accused of failing to act quickly to correct learning disabilities, despite their doctor’s testimony to the contrary.

“This is a shocking decision,” said Paul Faris of the Canadian branch of the Home School Legal Defense Association, who have backed the family’s case. He told LifeSiteNews this is the latest in the Quebec government’s ongoing effort to “clamp down on choice in education.”

He said the most concerning part is the judge’s decision to “order the younger children who were not of compulsory school age into day care for socialization.”

The family, who have homeschooled for four years, were reported to the province’s Youth Protection Services in November 2009 after a run-in with the local school board. The elder children were ordered into school in April 2010 after court proceedings began in February 2010. There was a four-day trial in November, and Judge Nicole Bernier issued her ruling in March.

Faris said the court refused to hear the parents’ expert witness and dismissed the testimony of the family doctor, who has been fully supportive of their medical decisions. In her ruling, Judge Bernier claimed the family doctor’s testimony lacked objectivity and was “full of bias” owing to his relationship with the parents.

Faris said the judge gave “excess weight” to the government’s experts, who he says “found that one child’s hearing impairment ‘indicated’ that the parents could not be trusted and therefore all the children should be enrolled in public school programs.” Judge Bernier determined that the security and development of the children was compromised by parental negligence.

In her ruling, Judge Bernier called the mother’s teaching approach “outdated,” saying it emphasized repetition exercises and acquisition of knowledge rather than the Ministry’s preferred approach of teaching learning skills. She also criticizes the elder children’s social development, noting that they had difficulty at first with the other children when they entered the classroom.

“The parents, though aware … of the need to stimulate each child by interactions with peers of the same age, outside of the family, either at school, kindergarten, or day care or occasional education trips, maintain their interest in the teaching model of the home school,” she wrote, going on to lament that they are “refusing to integrate the youngest in kindergarten or day care, and opposing educational outings for the children.”

“Their reasons are always the same and regard a social mistrust that does not meet the needs of their children,” she added. She also took issue with the fact that the parents apparently had not obtained a homeschooling exemption under the Education Act, which requires that the parents offer a program equivalent to that offered in the schools.

The family, which is Roman Catholic, is now launching an appeal to the Quebec Superior Court.

Faris argued that the ruling ignored objective measurement of the children’s successful development.

“This is a quality homeschooling family that exercised diligence in teaching their kids,” Faris told LifeSiteNews. “We’ve had the kids tested and are certainly satisfied that they’re doing well.”

News of this family’s plight comes as the Quebec government faces a Supreme Court challenge this month of their refusal to allow exemptions in the public schools from a controversial course in relativism known as “ethics and religious culture.”

The government has even tried to impose the mandatory ERC program, which purports to present the spectrum of world religions and lifestyle choices from a “neutral” stance, on the province’s private schools. A Superior Court judge ruled in June 2010 that their effort to do so had assumed a “totalitarian character.”

In December, the government instituted a ban on religious instruction in its government-funded daycares.

Michael Donnelly, Director of International Relations for the Home School Legal Defense Association, said Quebec appears to be joining countries like Germany and Sweden in its repressive opposition to homeschooling.

“There is homeschooling freedom in most of Canada. However, it appears that Québec is more like Germany or Sweden when it comes to homeschooling regulations,” said Donnelly.

“This judge’s decision reads like one from these countries that are repressing homeschooling. The philosophy represented by this judge’s decision must be resisted.”


  1. the question that is never asked- WHAT is socialization? My homeschooled kids are in ballet 3 times a week and choir so they get some doses of 'normal' kids. The kids at church go to school. They know silly bands and they know of the existence of Justin Bieber but have never heard one of his songs. So- are they 'socialized?'
    On the other hand- they are in Shakespeare- and that's weird. They are in Little Flower's Catholic girls' club- and that's weird. They can sing in front of a dead body at a funeral viewing and that's really weird. They are looking forward to English Country dance, they still talk to me,they don't watch cable tv, they don't surf the internet, etc etc

  2. Does the age of informed sexual consent conform to the legal age of emancipation? Is the court overreaching to compensate for the legal protection denied to minor persons and citizens by unjust laws? A minor child's civil rights are held in trust for them until the age of legal majority by God, by their parents and by the court, in that order. If the court system refuses to allow the Person of God and the Person of Jesus Christ the civil right of being present in a public place which is held in joint and common tenancy be each and every citizen and especially the Persons of God, it might be said that the court is taking possession of minor children to capitalize on their inheritance of the common good. Does the court allow the death penalty for one human being, newly begotten, for the crimes of his parents, called abortion? Justice cannot and does not exist in their midst without the recognition and acknowledgement of a Supreme Sovereign Being, Who wills the existence of each and every person into being. The contraption that would annihilate Justice, the supreme virtue for the common good, and disallow mercy from the judiciary establishes corruption and decadence and disenfranchisement of the able bodied and innocent citizens. Abraham Lincoln said: "One person cannot own another person". If God wanted these children to become wards of the court, God would have taken their parents to heaven and made these children orphans. So far, God has not done these things and therefore, the court needs to take notice and act accordingly.

  3. That is just stupid. The benefits of homeschooling have been proven to out way that of schooling. Most kids that are homeschooled are more mature, and independent than those who are schooled. The Judge should really read Weapons of mass instruction...

  4. Socialization is at once the worst and the most frequent argument used against homeschooling. Who decided it's a good idea to socialize our kids by putting them in a room with 20-30 of their peers and a stranger for a babysitter - I mean, for a teacher? To the contrary, the family is the best place and God's intended place to socialize children.

    Stories like this one echo Plato's Republic, where he describes how and why the state should have custody of the children... it's truly scary how the government and schools are slowly taking on that mindset. Thank God for HSLDA.