Mother fights to keep autistic son in South Shore school
Loïc Audet, 10, can’t return to Cedar Street Elementary because family moved outside school board territory
LoïcAudet is set to start Grade 5 in a week, but he still doesn’t know where he’ll be going to school.
Last Friday his school principal called to say Loïc wouldn't be able to go back to Cedar Street Elementary School in Beloeil because the family moved outside of the school board’s territory.
“What he told me was it was in my child's best interest because of travel time,” said Loïc's mother Nicole Lafrenière.
Lafrenière said her family’s new home is only one street outside the bounds of the Riverside School Board, and that her son, 10, doesn’t need transportation because she drives him to school.
Lafrenière said she also warned the school of the move in January, and was told it would not be an issue.
She accuses the school administration of discriminating against her son, who has a disability.
“I think it's the budget cuts and that because he's autistic and costs money, they don't want him anymore,” Lafrenière said, adding that that Loïc likes his school and she’s worried that if he switches, it may worsen his condition.
“Children would usually reject him but his classmates are very good with him. They help him. They understand him.”
Loïc said he feels comfortable at Cedar Street.
“Most of my friends that I play with don't really do much except talk ...which I like because I don't like sports,” he said.
Riverside School Board director Sylvain Racette said he would not comment on the situation, and said the board make choices based on the requests they receive and works on a case-by-case basis.
Lafreniere said she’s determined to keep her son at the school.
“I called the [MNA] of Borduas to try to help me out. We're going to call the association for handicapped people and, if need be, we'll get a lawyer to defend his rights,” she said.