Home Schooling the Hard Way
A Family Under Siege
OUR FOUR CHILDREN WERE RETURNED TO US ON AUGUST 13, 2002 BY THE HONORABLE JUSTICE OMER BOUDREAULT AFTER TWO DAYS OF HEARINGS AND 70 DAYS NEAR-TOTAL ISOLATION FROM US. WE ASSUMED OUR DEFENCE AND DID NOT SUMMON ANY WITNESSES. THE STATE HAD 5 ACCREDITED WITNESSES BUT FAILED TO MAKE THEIR CASE AGAINST US. WE ARE FREE TO HOME SCHOOL AND WE ARE NOT SUBJECTED TO FUTURE CAS MONITORING. MANY THANKS TO EVERYONE THAT SUPPORTED US IN OUR TIME OF NEED, GOD BLESS YOU.
We have spent many years experiencing stress related to what we believe to be negligence on the part of the public education options made available to our school aged children. Contentious issues surrounding the treatment of our children were not resolved to our satisfaction. Investigations were sloppy when done at all. Our children were generally exposed to further unjust treatment because the problems remained unresolved.
In April 2002, our children came home from school with papers they wanted us to examine and consent to. The University of Ottawa Department of Psychology was inviting all the students from first grade up to sixth grade to participate in a social experiment. These psychologists wanted us to consent to the psychological profiling our children for the purpose of social research.
They said they would come to the school at different dates to perform these tests and those that had not consented would be excused from the process.
We wrote to the psychologists, Onslow School, and the Western Quebec School Board to inform them that we did not agree with the notion of converting the usual place of learning of our children into a medical research facility. Furthermore, we asked to be informed of the dates when the medical research personnel would come to Onslow that we might home school our children on the days the school was being used this way. The classroom disruptions caused by the presence of the psychologists was considerable.
Onslow School had been arousing our suspicions since they installed motion detecting video cameras and remote controlled security locks on the front door entrance. All these unjustified and very draconian security measures were taking another dimension with the arrival on the scene of medical specialists expecting parental betrayal from those subjects that had consented. We were very worried about the underlying motives of these studies.
Representatives from the University of Ottawa had already pitched the idea to the kids at school before the parents were invited to hand their children's minds over to them to be probed.
We asked the Western Quebec School Board to send us the information package for those wishing to home school. The School Board sent us the documentation and we studied it. To us, the most significant requirement was that the application for home schooling be filed before March 31 of the current school year if the applicant wanted to be approved for September of that same year. In our case we had missed this arbitrary date and would have to go the public way another year.
All things considered we were prepared to put up with this system that has served the interests of our children so poorly for as long as it takes to get approved officially.
Next thing we are told is that the experimental psychologists were granted access to our children in total disregard for our wishes and no-one bothered to give us forewarning that we may remove our children from the premises while the school was used for medical research. We pulled our children out of the public school system completely, informed all parties concerned that in light of this disturbing incident we would home school our children without delay.
The school board was properly informed that schooling would not be interrupted and that the education provided would at least meet or exceed public schooling. We wrote that we would prepare our teaching strategy for approval at the best possible time.
We home schooled our three school-aged boys for one full month without news from the school board or Onslow Elementary School. No phone calls, messages, or registered mail that would indicate the existence of a problem or legal breach. Then, one day, out of the blue, two representatives from the child services (DPJ) in Hull appeared on our porch demanding to see our home schooling plan and to investigate a report of truancy filed against us by the school board.
They did not identify the source of the complaint, the school board that told us they had called in social services. We asked the two representatives to leave the premises and they complied reluctantly. We made several calls to find the author of the complaint filed against us and that's when we found out it was the school board.
Several days later, in the early morning hours of June 6, 2002, the two social services people we had told to leave were back with five armed police, three police cruisers and a paddy wagon. They stole our children from our home and we did not see or talk to them for 12 days.
Social Services placed our children behind an impenetrable wall of lies and fraud that incited hatred and contempt in the eyes of the magistrates assigned to hear our case.
Every new court date saw the judges plunge our children deeper into the system. The state grabbed a pre-schooler and took him away with his school age brothers. Until July 11 we are not permitted to call our children on the telephone, we are not permitted to know where they are staying and we get one supervised visitation once a week for one hour and one half.
We use these visits to reassure our children and we home school them under the watchful eye of the state for the remaining time.
We have assumed our own defense and child services informed our children that their father had made a great presentation when he testified in court. They did not tell the children that their father was facing a very hostile judge that would not take any of this so-called great presentation seriously. The best arguments on Earth are worthless if they fall on deaf ears.
Child Services has asked us if they could come back to our house a few days after our next supervised visit with our children and they want to use the entire morning to discuss issues relating to our past, our present, and our future. The state wants us to consent to letting them probe into our private lives in exchange for favorable consideration when they draft a report for the July 11, 2002 trial. Protection or not, to us it feels like our family is held hostage by the state.
We are so convinced that home schooling is the best kind of individualized learning experience we can offer our children that we are prepared to meet all the challenges to clear a safe passage to a place where education is a joyous affair.
Ten years living here in Quyon with our children and never once has a private individual complained to the authorities that we would be bad parents. This is because we take good care of our children and we love them. When the state came to take our children they were spending the first night away from us since birth, the oldest ten and the smallest four. Actually this is not entirely correct; Chad slept a few times at the hospital following major heart surgery.
We would like hearing your opinions or suggestions as to the best ways to get the courts to honor the rule of law as it applies to our rights to educate our children at home. We would be very grateful if those presently tormenting us discovered that others, like ourselves, are home schooling in the province of Quebec and they did not have to go through this kind of mental torture to get there.
More detailed information is available upon request.
Roger Desjardins and Sylvie Desfosses
P.O. Box 472