17 Feb 2012 – The Supreme Court of Canada released a judgment this morning ruling unanimously that parents cannot remove their children from public school classes unless they can objectively prove that the class violates their freedom of religion.
In reaching that decision, the Supreme Court ruled that a mandatory course, taught through grades 1 to 11 and which compares the Christian religion to believing in Thor or Hercules and has assignments that include, “make your own religion”, did not objectively infringe on the freedom of religion of the parents. The parents argued that what their children were being taught in school undermined what was taught in the home adn the State should accomodate their request for an exemption.
The idea that education is the exclusive right and responsibility of parents and not the State was not addressed by this court. Having attended the hearing last Spring and having heard the arguments made by both the Quebec government and the parents and by the many interveners for the parents, I am very surprised and disappointed. This decision is a dark mark for parental rights. To read the judgment, click here. The Evangelical Fellowship of Canada, interveners in the case, has released a press release as has the IMFC.