Prince Edward Island mother sues French-language school board for inaction over students who bully her son

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CHARLOTTETOWN, PEI – A woman from PEI. is suing the province’s French-language school board for failing to protect her son from continued and harmful bullying, including a schoolyard incident that left her boy with a fractured femur.

Rose-Lune Goulet is claiming $ 250,000 in non-pecuniary damages as well as pecuniary damages and special damages, the amounts of which remain to be determined.

She stresses, however, that her trial is not about getting an orderly settlement, but rather about pushing for accountability and ultimately better protection of school children from bullying.

Many are named in the lawsuit, including the principal of his son Kayson’s Charlottetown school, François Buote school, as well as teachers from the school and two students who allegedly regularly bullied Kayson.

“The main person we’re suing is the (French-language) school board because the school board knew about (the bullying against Kayson),” says Goulet, who works for the board as a teacher’s aide.

“We are really pursuing them more than the others. The others are part of the story, so they had to be served also according to my agreement with the lawyer, but the main one we are looking for is the school board for gross negligence because that they didn’t do their due diligence to protect my child. “

Goulet says his repeated calls for help and action dating back to late 2014 when Kayson was in grade 3 have continuously fallen on deaf ears as his son, with autism, regularly suffered insults and physical attacks.

She believes the bullying in the schoolyard on March 13, 2018 was the cause of Kayson’s fractured femur. The superintendent of the French-language school board said at the time that the incident was a simple accident.

Goulet recounts that the death of a 14-year-old boy in Hamilton, Ont. On October 7, who was fatally stabbed outside his school while his mother watched in horror, hit home hard. Two brothers, a 14-year-old and an 18-year-old, have been charged with first degree murder in the death of Devan Bracci-Selvey, a victim of constant bullying since the start of the school year.

“Well I think it’s horrible and I thought it could have been Kayson (who turned 14 on Wednesday),” she says.

A lawyer representing the French-language school board in the lawsuit that appointed Goulet as Kayson’s litigation guardian informed The Guardian that the board “refuses to comment on the allegations as they are currently in court.”

The school board has yet to file a defense with the Prince Edward Island Supreme Court.

Goulet is preparing for a potentially long and costly battle in court.

His lawyer told him it was a difficult case as there are so many parties involved, which means the case will require a lot of research and could take up to three years to come to a conclusion.

If the lawsuit ultimately leads to changes that will allow schools in Prince Edward Island to fight bullying more effectively, it may be too late for Kayson, but it could help other children avoid going through what Goulet says his son went through.

Some parents told Goulet that the only way to fight bullying against their children is to change schools.

“If there is any kind of movement on bullying, for me it would be a victory above all because it is my goal, for there to be change in PEI. . “, she says. “The school board has a responsibility to keep children safe. . “

“Schools are all supposed to have an anti-bullying policy,” she adds. “They’re all supposed to have rules in place and zero tolerance, but I’ve heard from many parents – and in my experience too – that they don’t. There has to be something about it. stronger in place. “

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