TORONTO, November 29, 2012, (LifeSiteNews.com) – Homeschoolers are incensed after Anna Maria Tremonti, host of CBC’s The Current, decided to air what she called the “last word” on her show discussing homeschooling.
Following her November 14 show, a two minute skit cast homeschooling mothers as incompetent, uneducated, and sexually irresponsible.
The home-schooled teenage male—who was cast as unchallenged, resentful, rebellious, and delinquent—suggested at one point that he would rather not have been created than homeschooled.
“OK, so I’m supposed to learn geometry from a lady who never graduated college and wasn’t smart enough to use condoms?” rants the teenager in the skit.
The St. Augustine Classical Lutheran Co-op from the Kitchener-Waterloo area in Ontario slammed the show as “play[ing] to the tune the establishment likes to hear.”
“The only problem,” the group pointed out, “is [that Tremonti] described a fictional scenario quite divorced from reality. Masked in humour, her message in this segment was all the more insidious.”
In her segment prior to the skit, Tremonti interviewed Paul Faris, president of the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada. She wanted to know why Faris’ association had supported the removal of a section of the first version of the Alberta Education Act that brought in the Charter of Rights and Freedoms and the Alberta Human Rights Act.
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Tremonti attempted to corner Faris into saying that parents compelled the Alberta government to remove the controversial section so that they could teach their children religious teachings on homosexuality. Faris would not take the bait.
Finally, Tremonti suggested: “If you believe religiously that homosexuality is a sin, do you believe that if [homeschoolers] were teaching their child that, that [they’d] be vulnerable?”
Faris pointed out that a “broad public act” such as the Alberta Human Rights Act was not made to “apply to private life in a home,” where homeschooling parents have “private conversation[s] in their own home with their own children”.
Prior to the proposed Education Act failing it third reading due to an election call, parents across the province had expressed grave concern over section 16 of the act, which they saw as an infringement on their parental rights to raise and educate their own children as they saw fit.
Tremonti then brought Kent Hehr onto the show, Liberal MLA for Calgary Buffalo and education critic for his party. Hehr accused the Home School Legal Defence Association of Canada of being “anti-gay” and spreading “misinformation to move a political agenda.”
But Garnett Genuis, executive director of Parents For Choice in Education (PCE), told LifeSiteNews.com that it was not homeschoolers alone who were concerned about language in the original Alberta Education Act.
“A wide spectrum of stakeholders had concerns about some of the language in the original version of the education act. These included the Alberta Catholic School Trustees Association and various alternative schools and programs.”
“From our perspective, people should have a right to hold differing opinions about moral and religious questions, and to pass those opinions on to their children before those children reach adulthood,” he said.
Genuis pointed out that the revised Education Act has “support of virtually all education stakeholders” since the “government fixed and clarified the language” that threatened “many people – not just home schoolers”.
The St. Augustine Classical Lutheran Co-op criticized the CBC for not taking the “opportunity to engage in a real debate about the state of education in this country.”
“Homeschooling families, as a rule, think about education much more than the average parent, and they tend to take their responsibility of raising the next generation of thoughtful, contributing citizens very seriously,” the co-op stated. “Far from being dysfunctional as portrayed in the skit, homeschooling families are a model of normalcy. Because the parents spend a great deal more time with their children than the average, the relationship between parent and child is most often one of mutual understanding, honour, and respect.”
“The kind of conversation this segment portrayed would be unlikely to occur in a homeschooling family,” it concluded.
The group accused Tremonti of demonstrating “exactly the kind of ‘close-minded’ and ‘prejudiced’ thinking of which she believes others to be guilty.”
“Is committing this kind of logical fallacy not an embarrassment for a nationally-broadcast radio host?”
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