Family of girl with special needs files lawsuit against English Montreal School Board

The Kuhn family is alleging discrimination by the EMSB. Billy Shields/Global News

The Saint-Henri family of a girl with learning disabilities is suing the English Montreal School Board (EMSB) before the Quebec Human Rights Commission, alleging discrimination on the basis of disability, income and language.

“English-speaking people and people with disabilities are not able to [be] integrated into the Quebec system,” said Sam Kuhn at a press conference hosted by the Centre for Research-Action on Race Relations.

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The Kuhn family is alleging discrimination by the EMSB. Billy Shields/Global News

Kuhn’s complaint alleges a two-step issue that befell his daughter Simone as she attended elementary school.

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Diagnosed with a learning disability, she started to show difficulties learning French. At that point Kuhn said he needed to get a formal psycho-educational assessment so that she could develop an individual education plan for her.

But the family said it was told that it would have to get such an assessment privately, which they cannot afford as they’re on social assistance. The result is that their daughter isn’t enrolled in a French program, which the Kuhns attribute to discrimination.

The Kuhns are trying to get an assessment for their daughter Simone. Billy Shields/Global News

Global News contacted an EMSB spokesperson for a response to Kuhn’s lawsuit, but received no respond by deadline. The Kuhns have had other similar situations over time.

“Our family has been in Quebec for seven years,” Kuhn said. “We want to integrate. My other two kids are learning French, I have two other kids with disabilities. And we want to integrate into the society.”

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