MONTREAL, NOVEMBER 21, 2011- The English Montreal School Board is happy to report that the Ministry of Education, Leisure and Sports (MELS) has granted English admissibility on humanitarian grounds to Emiliano Morales-Espinosa, 16, enabling him to return to Royal West Academy in Montreal West today and complete his high school education there. Regrettably, his two siblings were not as fortunate.
Valentina Morales-Espinosa, 12, had been accepted to Royal West Academy, after attending Royal Vale School in NDG. She is now enrolled in the French section of a West End private high school. Emmanuella, 10, was also attending Royal Vale and now goes to a French public school in Côte Saint-Luc. Emiliano was at a French public school in Outremont since August.
“We are very pleased to learn that Emiliano can return to Royal West and rejoin the friends he has made there over the past five years,” said EMSB Chairman Angela Mancini. “It is regrettable that the process took this long. We are nonetheless saddened that Emiliano’s sisters were not a able to return to our board as well.”
Ernesto Morales and his wife, Paulette Espinosa, had appealed Quebec government orders that forced their children 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.
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 happened to this family is a classic example.”