A legal action filed in court against the Quebec government on behalf of more than 1,800 homeschooling families


Home-schooled children could be forced to attend a school this year and suffer irreparable harm, in addition to being forced to pass ministerial tests in schools

Montreal , Oct. 5, 2022 /CNW Telbec/ – The Association québécoise pour l’éducation à domicile (AQED) is turning to the courts to prevent injustices from being repeated, as well as situations creating unnecessary anxiety for hundreds of homeschooled children. After the silence and lack of intervention by Minister of Education Jean-François Roberge, AQED was forced to file an application for a safeguard order in the Superior Court earlier this week against the Quebec government.

Families victimized by the withdrawal of exemption from school attendance and compulsory ministerial tests

The new CAQ regulations imposed in 2019 violate the right of parents to educate their children according to the method they prefer. The Ministry of Education rigidly imposes the program and examinations, without taking into account the educational project of the families and the particular needs of the children. Since last spring, the Direction de l’enseignement à la maison (DEM) has shown undue interference, creating an unfair system penalizing children who do not fit into the education mold at school.

The legal action aims to defend the right of parents to educate their children at home:

  • Without court intervention, hundreds of homeschooled children in Quebec risk suffering irreparable harm and being forced to attend school this year rather than being homeschooled as families want.
  • The Ministry of Education is threatening homeschooling families with the right to withdraw their children’s right to home schooling unless they agree to submit them to ministerial examinations, regardless of whether they are able or not to do them.
  • All parents who have or fail to provide the DEM with proof that their children have passed the ministerial exams will see or will see their right of exemption from attending school cancelled. Court intervention is urgently needed since the 2022-2023 school year is already underway.
  • In Quebec, it should be remembered that more than 50% of home-schooled children have learning disabilities or physical or mental health problems, which the traditional education system cannot respond to adequately. For many families, home schooling is the only alternative to ensure that the special needs of their child are taken into account.
  • AQED addresses the court to correct the injustices of the mandatory ministerial tests  :
  • With the compulsory ministerial tests imposed by the Ministry of Education, hundreds of homeschooled primary and secondary school students suffered anxiety-provoking situations last June. These examinations take place in mediocre conditions which do not respect the particular needs of the majority of them.
  • The Ministry now requires children educated at home to submit to ministerial tests in a school they do not attend. Consequence: children who have experienced anxiety at school and who learn well at home must go for the end-of-year exam in an unknown place with people they do not know. Other children have to move through the school where they have been bullied.
  • The requirements and process for obtaining a high school diploma are unfair and unacceptable. Homeschooled children are assessed by a single test per subject, the latter counting for 100% of the mark. How does this promote success and graduation?
  • According to an internal survey by AQED, 88% of homeschoolers believe they are experiencing prejudice with the mandatory end-of-year ministerial exams. Among the families surveyed, 66% of children suffer from school anxiety or phobia.

“The government is insensitive to the plight of homeschooled children and does not respect homeschooling families! It is therefore with reluctance that we turn to the court to prevent repeating injustices and situations that create unnecessary anxiety for our children! Parent-educators face a heartbreaking choice: comply with the disproportionate demands of the ministry or protect their child with disastrous consequences on their academic progress? We are asking the court to uphold our rights as parents to educate our children at home. Academic success for hundreds of homeschooled children this year is playing out now! »

Ms. Marine Dumond-Després, President of AQED.

See CISION press release