The public school course "is forcing children to learn the content of other religions. Therefore it is the state deciding what religious content will be learned, at what age, and that is totally overriding the parents' authority and role."
-- From "Religious Ed. rebellion - Quebec parents pull students out of new class" by Graeme Hamilton, National Post 12/19/08
A new religion course taught in schools across Quebec was intended to improve inter-cultural understanding, but so far it is generating deep division as hundreds of parents pull their children out of class.
A high school in Granby, Que., has in the past week handed one-day suspensions to seven students boycotting the Ethics and Religious Culture course on the grounds that it violates their freedom of conscience. In nearby Drummondville, a couple will be going to court next spring with a constitutional challenge to the mandatory course.
The new course is the final step in a secularization of Quebec schooling that began with a 1997 constitutional amendment replacing the province's denominational school boards with linguistic ones.
A 2005 law changed Quebec's Education Act and its Charter of Rights to eliminate parents' right to choose a course in Catholic, Protestant or moral instruction, and the changes came into effect last June.
Stephanie Tremblay, a spokeswoman for Quebec's Education Department, said school boards across the province have received and rejected more than 1,400 requests from public-school parents seeking to have their children exempted from taking the course.
To read the entire article, CLICK HERE.