These children come from elsewhere

News 24 March, 2018
  • Photo courtesy

    Denise Bombardier

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

    Saturday, march 24, 2018 05:00

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    “Turbulence “extreme” in a primary school “, ran a headline this week in The Duty. In Notre-Dame-de-Grace, the School of the Five Continents, the well named, small in kindergarten and the second year sow violence in their classes. A psycho-educator has been hospitalized for a concussion following the whim of a 5 year old child. Other upset the mistress, throw objects, kick and bite. They scream and howl all day long.

    In this primary school, 615 students speak 33 languages and are from 55 countries. Many have fled war, poverty and misery.

    That’s it for this portrait that makes you stop and think. It must be remembered that half of the children of the public schools of Montreal are of foreign origin. It should also be pointed out that the schools are overcrowded, teachers are not only overwhelmed, but also exhausted and certainly not trained to teach to children who, often, have never been to school and who do not understand French.

    Their childhood took place in countries with different values to ours and they land us on another planet. Their parents are also in a state of shock. It is little to say that they have been to hell and back.


    Given our naivety, our generosity, our openness and, as we say, our enthusiasm smug to believe that we can rapidly integrate these children into the magnet, the school authorities placed them in regular classes. During this time, the government Couillard casts anathema on Francis Legault who wishes to reduce by 10,000 the annual number of refugees in Quebec. To allow us, precisely, to mentor and to facilitate their adaptation.

    The brutal reality is that we have not the means of our generosity. With children who come from poor countries where there is a violence is a daily reality and who are in a state of shock, both traumatic and anthropological, we need the infrastructure, the specialists, the battery of psychs and teams formed to make the link between the school and the home. Because teachers are unaware of the lives of their students outside of the school and the values that are instilled, which are too often the opposite of those shared in class.


    It is believed that a small Syrian pulled out of a besieged city, who spent months in a camp in Lebanon, can rapidly melt with his friends without professional guidance ? We like to say that the children adapt to all situations, but at what price ?

    In recent years, Québec has welcomed too many refugees, given its capacity. Moreover, Ottawa has just refused to repay the $ 140 million claimed by Quebec for the support of asylum-seekers who presented themselves at our borders by 2017. The minister of Immigration Canada, Ahmed Hussen, said his government ” had already done a lot “.

    Immigration is a reality too complex to tackle it with good feelings and sobs in the voice as Trudeau, or using it electorally, as Philippe Couillard.