Turned on board at the dawn of the new school year

Turn around at the dawn of the new school year< /p> UPDATE DAY

Young people enrolled in the basketball program of a Montreal school received the new “heartbreak” a few days before the start of the school year. that they won't be able to attend it in the end, when this sport is at the center of their lives and their uniform had already been purchased.

«  a month ago it would be different. But five days before the start of the school year… That's what is absurd “, launches Donald Garcia Nycklass. 

His son Sean Garcia Nycklass, 12 years, was about to start the secondary school at Lucien-Pagé school, located in Villeray and Parc-Extension. 

Like him, three other young people who do not live on school grounds were enrolled in the school's basketball program. Due to overcrowding, they learned this week that this would not be possible. They now have to go back to enroll in their neighborhood school.

  I'm angry , admits young Sean on the phone. 

  The registrations of the last few days have meant that we are at the maximum of our reception capacity , explains Alain Perron of the Center de services scolaire de Montréal (CSSDM). 

It's the law

“ The law on public instruction is clear […] We must serve the students of our territory before accepting students from other CSSs. 

When they registered their As a child, the parents interviewed were aware of the rules and of the risk of being supplanted at the last minute because of their “extraterritorial” character. 

Behind the scenes, they had made each other say it was unlikely.

For Alder Pierre, physical education teacher and manager of the basketball program, this policy is too often applied in an “inhumane” way.

Alder Pierre, manager of the basketball program.

According to the information he has received, there are only a handful of extra students in secondary one. “I understand that this is the rule, but I think the rule, it needs to be revised”, believes Mr. Pierre.

“We treat students like numbers,” sighs Salahdine Badrelama.

“Changed his life”

His daughter Sara, 12, is already 1.71m tall. In elementary school, she began to develop complexes because of her height…until she started playing basketball. 

“It really changed his life. I don't see the same Sara anymore. She has gained self-confidence […] She no longer sees her greatness as a disadvantage, but as an advantage, says Mr Badrelama. 

The effect has been impressive on his school discipline. She had practiced taking public transport to get from Laval to the Lucien-Pagé school, he adds. “There, everything fell apart,” says the man who now fears for his daughter's motivation and perseverance.

The teacher Alder Pierre is also trying to convince the Ministry of Education to grant an exemption from the admission rules for his basketball program, which generally welcomes young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, while training top athletes. level, he explains. 

The ministry confirms having received the letter from Mr. Pierre and is in the process of analyzing it.

« C is a painful dilemma” which opposes the collective good to the individual good, analyzes Sylvain Martel, spokesperson for the Regroupement des Comités de Parents Autonomes du Québec. 

“But when it falls on our child, it creates the effect of a bomb.”

Privilege

The fact of being able to choosing your school is a privilege, not a right, says Mr. Martel. This is why students can be subject to a “compulsory transfer”. in the event of overcrowding, even when they live in the neighborhood of their school. 

With such a short notice, the possibilities of recourse for these parents are very weak, believes Mr. Martel.   

” On a human level, if we accept these students, it is a student from Villeray who will not go to his neighborhood school […] If we go back that on the other hand, you could write an article too”, illustrates Alain Perron of the CSSDM.  

Do you have a scoop to send us?

Do you have something to share with us about this story?

Do you have a scoop that our readers might be interested in?

Email us at or call us directly at 1 800-63SCOOP.