One year after finishing primary school, a Laval student has to leave his neighborhood school because it is overcrowded. A situation denounced by his mother, who does not understand that children are simply moved.
Posted at 5:00 am
“The tape of the protocols, I am no longer capable of that. I don’t want to hear it anymore. »
Since learning that her son had to change schools before his very last year of primary school, Sylvie Vermette has multiplied the steps to try to reverse this decision. The answers follow one another and are comparable: the protocol of the Laval School Service Center (CSSDL) has been followed, Nathan has to leave the school where he has been attending for six years.
In the spring, Sylvie Vermette was told that since the Sainte-Dorothée school was overcrowded, they were looking for “volunteers” who agreed to move to another nearby establishment.
Unsurprisingly, parents wanting to see their child switch schools didn’t show up, so a few weeks later, the mother received another email.
“Because the volunteers for a school change were not numerous enough, we are forced to transfer students to another school,” it says.
What annoys the mother all the more is that Nathan is the only student of 6e years to have to leave his comrades, which the CSSDL confirms.
It is the last year of primary school, my son is rooted. And there you have to tell him: this is not your school anymore.
Sylvie Vermette, mother of Nathan
Sainte-Dorothée primary school had 12 too many pupils this year. How many children of this number who are already going to school are displaced? It was not possible to get this information from the CSSDL on Monday.
Whether at this school or another, “the way children are treated is unacceptable,” says Sylvie Vermette. Is there no other solution for these students than to remove them from a school where they have been attending for years?
Multiple complaints from parents
The CSSDL explains that the number of students in different sectors of the city is growing.
“Despite the fact that several construction and expansion projects have been completed in recent years and more are underway and to come, the number of enrollments in some schools exceeds the number of places available,” writes Annie Goyette, CSSDL spokesperson.
The Laval Parents’ Committee notes that “mandatory transfers” are one of the most common complaints from parents.
“We take a child out of his environment. To an adult, it’s like losing your job and going to work in a place you didn’t choose. It’s quite a big change,” said chairman Sylvain Martel.
I understand parents: if that happened to my daughter, I would panic.
Sylvain Martel, Chairman of the Parents’ Committee of Laval
Before such transfers were made, however, everything was generally tried to bring in as many students as possible, he notes. “The teachers know that their class will be full to the max,” Mr. Martel illustrates.
And once it has been established that there are too many students in a school, rules apply. The CSSDL uses a point system to determine which students should change schools. For example, we take into account siblings, the place of residence, the fact that a student has already changed schools in the past.
“It’s still bureaucracy: if there are three too many students in a school, three have to leave. It’s a dilemma between the well-being of the group and the well-being of the individual, and it’s boring when it falls on you,” says Sylvain Martel.
Sylvie Vermette and her son can see it. “Nathan is afraid to go back to school, he realizes he has no friends at the other school,” says the mother, who plans to fight until the first day of class to make her point. In addition to the media, she challenged her deputy.
The school service center’s student ombudsman may have dismissed the mother’s complaint because, he says, “the objective criteria set out in the policy [du centre de services scolaire] respected,” he admits in his decision that Nathan’s case “provokes food for thought”.
“The board of directors may wonder whether for the students of 6e year we could be more creative to avoid transfers”, concludes Claude Provencher.
This is also what Sylvie Vermette asks: that we don’t move the students like pawns.