Montreal family upset over school’s treatment of their son

The family of a teenager in NDG is crying foul after they say his school took steps to punish him for something he claims he did not do.

The parents of 13-year-old Tristen Corion-McSween, a secondary 2 student at the Saint-Luc High School in NDG, believe the son was treated unfairly and was unjustly labelled, and now they want answers.

According to his mother Miranda Corion, on Thursday, Oct. 28 the school principal called her to say her son was not allowed to return, accusing him of shoving a class monitor. The incident allegedly occurred the day before.

On Tuesday, the family met with the school’s administration to discuss the incident, but the outcome of that meeting was not what the family was hoping for.

“Then she said it’s a possibility that your son has to change schools,” Corion told Global News.

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According to Tristen, he was instructed to remain in the classroom for detention last Wednesday for something else he said he didn’t do — making fun of a teacher.  He said when no teacher showed up, he left the room and ran into the class monitor.

“(The monitor) came in front of me and tried to push me back inside the class, ” he claimed.  “He came and pushed me and I did react — I was pushing him, too.”

Tristen’s friends, gathering in a show of solidarity in front of the school Tuesday after the family’s meeting with the school, corroborated his version of the facts.  They and he said the monitor also did something else.

“At one point he told me to get back into the f—ing class,” Tristen alleged.

His mother claims the principal did not get her son’s version of how the events transpired before deciding to expel him.

“Let him explain to you what happened and then decide what’s going to happen,” she fumed.

The family said it’s the second incident since the start of the school year. In late September, the teen was accused of stealing headphones from another student and pocketing them. Tristen said that’s not what happened and that he was joking with a fellow student.

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“I just grabbed her headphones and I put it on the floor,” he insisted.

His father, Joel McSween, standing outside the school after Tuesday’s meeting, said he believes the school mishandled that incident, as well.

“You calling my son a liar and a thief in front of all the other kids,” he said, his voice shaking. “You damaging him. You damaging his self-confidence!”

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He said after nearly a month of waiting, he and the boy’s mother were shown the school surveillance video, which supported Tristen’s account, and that the school apologized.

“I feel hurt man,” McSween pointed out, tears running down his left cheek. “My son comes home and he’s crying for me.  He says, ‘daddy I feel they picking on me all the time.’ ”

In a statement, the Montreal School Service Centre, which oversees the school, refused to comment.

“We do not comment publicly on student cases as these are confidential,” a spokesperson wrote in an email.  “Mechanisms are in place to find solutions for the parties involved.”

They also sent a link to a website where families can file complaints through an ombudsman. The ombudsman will investigate the complaint, giving all parties involved the chance to have their say.

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Complainants can be accompanied by the person of their choice at all times.  Within 30 days of receiving the complaint, the ombudsman will give his opinion on the merits of the complaint and provide its recommendations to the school service centre.

The service centre will then make a decision based on those recommendations. The decision, however, is final.

Corion said the principal promised to help Tristen find a new school.  Still, the family said they are considering speaking with a lawyer.

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COVID-19: Montreal high school students happy about less in-school time, but miss socializing

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