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Four children ages 9, 7, 5 and 3 from a homeschooling Catholic family in Notre-Dame-des-Bois in Québec, Canada have been ordered into public school for socialization and non-phonics reading instruction. As Lydia McGrew explains :

This case from Canada, which one would like to think couldn’t happen in the U.S., is a fairly egregious example of judicial micromanagement: Judge Nicole Bernier (it would be a female judge!) ordered four children from a home schooling family into school and, in the case of children too young for school (down to age 3), into daycare so as to get what Judge Bernier calls “socialization.” To add injury to injury, Bernier wants the children to go to public school so that they will be taught to read (or, as the case may be, not taught to read) by non-phonics methods!

Now, this is crazy. The parents have not been accused of abusing or neglecting their children. Judge B. (by whatever ill fate she was brought into these innocent people’s lives) is just having a grand old time throwing around her weight and forcing them to raise their children as Judge B. would, presumably, raise her children. The notion of any sort of familial independence to make judgment calls about education is nowhere in the picture. (For the record, while I am a staunch advocate of phonics, I would consider laughable and pernicious the suggestion that some judge should interfere if parents were “caught” teaching their children to read by a look-say method.)

McGrew also considers an proposed amendment to the (U.S.) Constitution that would codify parental rights, and explains why it might not be sufficient.

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