Au revoir to homework?

French president argues homework is unfair for children from lower income families


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," December 6, 2012. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.


BOB BECKEL, CO-HOST: What's that language?

DANA PERINO, CO-HOST: All right. So, that's French, Bob.

What kids do not complaint about having too much homework? Except for me because I loved it and I would make up assignments for myself.

GREG GUTFELD, CO-HOST: Did you make your own homework?

PERINO: Yes, I did. I would make assignments for Spanish class.

GUTFELD: There is something wrong with you.

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: This was just last week.

PERINO: But many parents, they think that homework have gone out of control. And French President Hollande has just proposed that French, homework be banned for younger students.

OK. Eric, Bob, you only two with children. Good or bad idea?

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: You want me to go first?


BOLLING: OK. This is one of the worst ideas -- second worst idea Francois Hollande has come up with. The first was a 75 percent tax on his people. This is the second worst idea.

I will tell you, I am very proud of my son who is a high honor roll student. He does homework every night. I study with him on tests. That's why the scores are up.

You stop doing that. They start playing games. The video games, other distractions are enormous, other things that can distract the kid. Stay with the homework.

PERINO: I have seen first graders with homework. I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing because there is a lot time. In France, get this, Bob, they are off on Wednesdays. They do not have to go to school on Wednesday.

BECKEL: They don't work at all. The French are overrated snobs who went belly up in World War II in Vichy France, most of them did. They think they are the most cultured people in world but all they got is hairy armpits.

And the British who's been attacked by them for 2,000 years. What did the British do? Come on, we love the Brits. They built a tunnel to these people? Are you out of your mind?

OK, having said that --

TANTAROS: I take it you won't be vacationing in Paris.

BECKEL: I'll get a fist fight in Paris.

BOLLING: I have seen your armpits. Remember when Dana dunked you? You have hairy armpits, too.

BECKEL: Yes, but I'm not a woman.

BOLLING: Oh, you didn't say that.

BECKEL: All right. Now, can I make a point here? I do think there is something to be said about the young kids having too much homework. I don't think it's necessary for the kids in first, second, third grade. They have got a time to be kids and not necessarily -- look, how many people come home from work and do homework?


BECKEL: Of course you do. You are the exception, not the rule.

BOLLING: No, "The Five" is a good example. How many of "The Five" do their homework every night?

PERINO: Let's ask Andrea because she lived in France.

BOLLING: Let the record show everyone's hand is up except Bob.

BECKEL: Because it's overrated.

PERINO: Andrea lived in France for a while. And so, one of the things that Hollande is saying is that these kids don't have time to get the cultural activities and be able to enjoy life. Not just having play time, but for sports or to be able to go to museum, something like that.

You lived there. What do you think? Do they need more time for that?

TANTAROS: I support it. Look, let them do it. It's one less country we actually have to compete with, right? I mean, why not?

PERINO: Well, it's interesting you say that. France just found out they are performing worse than the Americans in reading and science.


TANTAROS: Let me finish, they are at -- for young people -- the youth unemployment is 25 percent. This is with homework. OK? If you take away the homework, what does it go up to?

I say this is classic socialism. It's not about personal responsibility or success. It's about fairness and there's a difference between equality and fairness.

Equality is, everyone starts out the same, but you can't determine the outcome. This, they want to determine the outcome even if it's punitive. And that's classic socialism.


BECKEL: I so desperately want to be for this, but because the French came put with it, I'm not sure I want to be. But the idea that the big kids do homework when they are six years old, seven, eight, nine, it's ridiculous.

PERINO: What do you think, Greg?

GUTFELD: I'm with Andrea. It's the expectation of outcome as opposed to opportunity. And high expectations are now perceived as being mean-spirited, sometimes even bigoted. So, we are lowering our expectations of our people, as we expect more from the products, which is an impossibility. Over time, we will no longer have the great products that we have.

And what do you do instead of homework? The whole point of homework is to keep you alive through childhood, because you are supposed to get them from childhood to adulthood. And the only way to do that is to stay indoors.

BECKEL: Stay indoors and do homework?


BECKEL: Until adulthood?

GUTFELD: Then you go outside, you can do whatever you want.

BOLLING: You do homework, you are watching TV, you're on video games. There are a lot of things that they can get themselves into.

GUTFELD: By the way, why they don't they just mime? They're French, why do they just mime their homework?

TANTAROS: The reason that they're doing this is they're actually punishing parents, who have good home environments, right? Who don't run a crazy ship at home. They're saying that kids who have a crazy environment, this hurts them. Homework hurts them. So, we have to make it equitable and fair, I should say, for those kids to have the same environment to work on their crazy, familial problem.

GUTFELD: What is French homework? Is it riding a little bicycle with a basket with a baguette?


TANTAROS: Drinking red wine and smoking cigarettes. You got A-plus.

GUTFELD: I love that.

BECKEL: The French are like you. They go home and get loaded with wine.

GUTFELD: I'm half French.

BECKEL: I said are like you.

GUTFELD: No, but I'm half French.

BECKEL: Oh, you are?

GUTFELD: Yes. My mom's maiden name is (INAUDIBLE).

TANTAROS: Oh la la.

BECKEL: Oh, don't tell anybody that.

PERINO: Que paso?

GUTFELD: What does that mean?

PERINO: What's up in Spanish.


GUTFELD: What does that have to do with this? You know two words from a language?

PERINO: No. I know more than that.

GUTFELD: All right.

PERINO: I do. I swear. Like feliz navidad.

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