EMSB steps in it – again.

Home-schoolers have rights. And they deserve respect.

CBC reports yesterday:

A Montreal mother said her son’s former school principal threatened to call youth protection services after she pulled her son out of his high school and began home-schooling him.

This student has Asperger syndrome, and clearly was not thriving in his school environment. The family chose to seek an alternative route, and THEY HAVE THAT RIGHT.

In our school board, we seem to be developing a more enlightened and inclusive approach to home schoolers. It started with people around our Educational Services committee table voicing their respect for the choices these families make. And instead of looking for ways of controlling them, we are looking for ways to support them.

But a spokesperson for the English Montreal School Board, Michael Cohen, said the Quebec Education Act is clear on that point.

“He is perfectly entitled to call youth protection services,” Cohen said. “You just can’t pull your child out of school and unilaterally decide to have our own home-schooling program.”

But actually, you CAN do just that.  And perhaps  that is why the case has already been dropped by youth protection.

The issue for school boards, for teachers, for principals to understand is that home schoolers don’t make these decisions lightly. They have a huge familial impact. A huge financial impact. And it’s not a choice they make that says they have no respect for schools, teachers etc. It’s a choice they make because they feel it is  the right choice for them.

I daresay that most home schoolers have *more* respect for teachers than many regular school parents do.

Home schoolers are not trying to recreate a classroom in their home. They are not trying to replace a teacher. They are choosing an alternative educational path. A rich path; a different path. But a path to develop an educated, very well socialized, highly contributing member of society.

I am glad our school board is open and respectful and trying.  We’re not all that I hope we can be just yet in our offerings for home schoolers, but we’re on the way there.

This action from the EMSB shows just how dysfunctional that board continues to be.





Filed under Blogging, Commentaries, Education

6 responses to “EMSB steps in it – again.

  1. Kathy Taylor

    Wow, we’ve been saying that for years. One person has seen the reasoning. Maybe hearing it from someone within the system will have more of an impact. Keep up the productive work.

  2. I agree with Kathy! The winds of change are coming! Thank you so much for all your hard work Steve!

  3. Diane

    Super article. I’m glad things are looking up. Making a choice to home-school invariably has, as you said, a huge impact on family life and is not made lightly. Parents must be supported in their decision. What specifically can the different parties involved do to help even more.

  4. Annie

    Si toutes les comissions sclaires pouvaient avoir un tel regard! Bravo!

  5. Enfin! On peut, je crois, commencer à voir la lumière au bout du tunnel!
    Il est grand temps que les parents qui font des choix pour leurs enfants soient respectés et soutenus par les commissions scolaires comme cela se fait dans d’autres provinces.

    I totally agree with Kathy!

  6. Greetings sir,

    Thank you for defending parental rights.

    I saw your poll and I would like to answer in my own words.

    I believe no schools should be subsidised. I believe parents should receive a education bond, this would let all families equally choose. The way it is now, it is a great financial sacrifice to opt out of the public school, wether it be for homeshooling or other private alternatives.

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