As hollow as a home-school story gets

Let's face it. Your GetReligionistas have been doing what we do for quite some time now and, at this point, it takes a lot to shock us when it comes to journalists leaving religion-shaped holes in important stories. Still, shock happens.

We still see a story every now and then that includes a laugh-to-keep-from-crying mistake. We see stories that make us want to slap our foreheads and say, "WHAAA!?" And then we see stories that are simply sad, sad, sad. They leave us shaking out heads wanting to know why the journalists involved in doing this work could not see what was right in front of their eyes (or for some mysterious reason chose not to see the obvious).

The following CNEWS story from Canada is a perfect example of what I am talking about.

The subject is homeschooling. Against all reason and all odds, the only subject worthy of being mentioned in this report seems to be homeschooling -- period.

But here is the odd part. On one side are state officials, with mysterious motives. On the other side is a Catholic family, with mysterious motives. Ready?

A Quebec judge has ordered a family to send their two youngest children to state-run daycare for "socialization."

Along with raising concerns about speech delays in one of the children who has hearing problems, Judge Nicole Bernier said the kids, aged three and five, need "socialization" outside of the family. The parents also have two more children, aged seven and nine, who were forced last year to send their once home-schooled kids to public school under a court-order.

What is at the heart of this tragic conflict?

Translated from French, Bernier said of the parents: "They have isolated themselves with their children in a very limited view of what constitutes education of a child, wanting to protect children from the external environment they perceive as bad. They have deprived the children of a proper education."

The parents have not been charged with negligence or abuse. Their family doctor testified, saying the children were all healthy and well cared-for.

That's just about it, folks. Story over.

So the big idea is that the parents want to protect their own children from the "external environment they perceive as bad." Thus, the children have failed to receive "a proper education."

What are the actual issues here -- just the facts -- in terms of educational content and proper "socialization"? Anyone want to bet that religious, moral and cultural issues are at the heart of this story? You think? Did anyone with CNEWS ask about that, at all? Is that addressed in the court documents?

Canadian readers, come to our aid. Ditto, you home-schooler types. Is this, in large part, a hollow story?

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