MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 9, 2011- The English Montreal School Board is calling upon the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) to resolve an admissibility issue which has prevented three siblings from being enrolled this year at the English Montreal School Board.
Ernesto Morales and his wife, Paulette Espinosa, have appealed Quebec government orders that forced their children Emiliano, 16 and Valentina, 12 and Emmanuella, 10 to leave their English-language schools and attend French schools.
The Morales-Espinosa family have been living in Montreal for 11 years, having arrived via Mexico. An architect, Mr. Morales completed his PhD in Montreal and did two post-docs. He is here on a temporary work permit. Last May he applied for permanent residency. As a result, the MELS deemed the three children no longer eligible to attend an English school. This was especially difficult for Emiliano, who was entering Secondary V (Grade 11) at Royal West Academy.
Emiliano had to register at a French high school in Outremont this year. Valentina, who was to start Secondary I (Grade 7) at Royal West, is enrolled at Villa Maria (private) High School’s French section while Emmanuella, who was at Royal Vale in NDG, is now at the French language École Mosaique in Côte Saint-Luc.
“On humanitarian grounds we are asking the Ministry to allow these children to return to the EMSB,” said EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. “This is especially necessary in the case of Emiliano, who should not be deprived of his critical Grade 11 education after having spent his first four years at the same high school.”
Ms. Mancini notes that the EMSB has seen its overall enrolment drop by almost 7,000 students over the past decade. “We have the language laws to thank for that,” she said. “ what is happening to this family is a classic example.”
Ms. Mancini said that communications with the MELS over the last few days indicates that a government examining committee will now be reviewing the case with the hope that at least Emiliano can return to Royal West soon.