Student protector: the reform postponed until the fall

It’s a breach of commitment, launches Quebec solidaire education spokesperson Christine Labrie. She recalled that the minister supported a motion last year calling for the bill to be tabled before June 2021.

I am quite disappointed to see that it will delay […], says Ms. Labrie. I would have liked us to be able to start holding consultations in the summer in order to move the bill forward.

Even before being minister, Jean-François Roberge called for an overhaul of the Student Ombudsman, which acts as an appeal mechanism for parents dissatisfied with the way a school has handled a complaint related to the bullying of their child. , for example.

Since coming to power, Mr. Roberge has promised to withdraw the Student Ombudsman from school service centers in order to increase his independence. It also proposes to extend its jurisdiction to private schools.

With a little over a year before the next provincial election, however, its reform is still pending. Québec solidaire is starting to ask serious questions.

I hope that this is not a strategy on their part not to carry out this reform which is important and necessary.

A quote from:Christine Labrie, education spokesperson for Québec solidaire

Christine Labrie, education spokesperson for Québec solidaire

Photo: Radio-Canada

Replay in the 2018 film?

In writing, the office of the Minister of Education says the bill will be tabled during the next parliamentary sessionor somewhere next fall.

The intention of the government is still to have a national and independent protector of the pupil and to extend its powers to private institutions, specifies the cabinet.

This is an important commitment from Minister Roberge and we will honor this promise, you can rest assured.

A quote from:Extract from a message from the office of the Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge

The Minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge

Photo: The Canadian Press / Jacques Boissinot

Mr. Roberge had already said that he was giving himself until the end of his mandate to carry out this reform. Christine Labrie fears, however, that the legislative menu is too heavy and that the bill will die on the order paper when the election is called.

It’s a very, very significant risk. This is why I was hoping that the minister would table the bill as he had committed to, before June, she says.

This is what happened with Bill 183, introduced by the former Liberal government a few months before the 2018 election.

Nothing has changed

The mother of a student who was bullied at the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs and who has fought for years to improve the handling of complaints in private schools is sorry that the deadline has been pushed back .

Christine Gingras has maintained for years that her daughter’s school did not take the appropriate measures to stop the bullying. She also deplored the government’s lack of influence over private schools.

Nothing has changed since the start of our efforts, deplores Ms. Gingras, who is united with three other mothers in this case. However, she does not despair of seeing the government deliver on the promised reform.

It’s constantly postponed, but it’s good news that it’s still planned.

A quote from:Christine Gingras, mother of a bullied student

Lawsuit or mediation

Last fall, Ms Gingras filed a lawsuit against the government and the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs, demanding an apology and financial restitution for the wrong suffered by her daughter.

Then in mid-May, she sent a letter to Minister Jean-François Roberge requesting a mediation process, which she considers better suited to the needs of children.

We would like this situation to be resolved at a time when our children are still children and where we can have an impact on their development.

A quote from:Christine Gingras, mother of a bullied student
Christine Gingras gives an interview in the studios of Radio-Canada in Sherbrooke.

Christine gingras

Photo: Radio-Canada

Mr. Roberge’s office and the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs declined to comment on the mediation request due to the lawsuit filed a few months ago.

The director of the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs, Évelyne Gosselin, however, transmitted to Radio-Canada resolutions of the Commission on Human Rights and Youth Rights.

These documents show that the school has made several interventions over the years and implemented measures to support his students victims of bullying, says Ms. Gosselin.

It is also important to point out that the Académie des Sacrés-Cœurs has always been recognized for its best practices in preventing and combating bullying, language gaps and discrimination.

A quote from:Extract from an email from Evelyne Gosselin, director of the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs

An opportunity

Ms. Gingras maintains that the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs and the government failed to adequately address the bullying suffered by her daughter.

It is based in particular on a report from the Ministry of Education, produced in 2019, which indicates that despite recurring bullying problems, the school’s intervention model remained the same for several years.

According to Ms. Gingras, the Académie des Sacrés-Coeurs and the government have every interest in accepting her mediation request, to send a strong message to all students attending a private school in Quebec.

The government has the chance to demonstrate that it is taking its responsibilities and the Law on Private Education is not a bogus law, she says.

We have reached the moment when there has to be an action taken. There has to be a decision made and it is slow. We stretch the deadlines and our children grow old through it, concludes Ms. Gingras.

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