Back in the classroom: the cry of the heart for teens

Retour en classe: cri du cœur en faveur des ados

Jérémy Bernier ,
Daphnée Dion-Viens and
Patrick Bellerose

The simple evocation of a back to school virtual high school students in September has provoked an outcry from several stakeholders to launch a cry from the heart for teens.

“They were very disappointed not to return to school. To announce that we are going to have maybe a back to school virtual, it demobilizes totally teens, who are already demobilized because of the confinement. It is very sad. They become increasingly anxious and depressed. For us, it is a disaster,” responded yesterday, the pediatrician deemed Gilles Julien, who has dedicated his life to children and teens.

  • LISTEN to the reaction of Marwah Rizqy, spokesperson for liberal education, on QUB radio:

Back to school virtual evoked

The ball was launched with the declaration of the minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, who spoke Wednesday to the possibility of a back-to-school distance for secondary students in Quebec.

The next day, the minister has adjusted the shooting, stating that it was a screenplay, “among many others”. The prime minister, François Legault, has added, saying that he was going to “do it all” to allow class attendance.

“Of course, it will be necessary to adhere to certain standards. Among other things, meet the two meters, to see who should wear masks, etc, ” he said. But as for me, I wish that it happen in person.”

But the previous declarations had time to raise the ire among stakeholders who are involved in the lives of adolescents, where many already feel left behind with the return of the primary.

Serious consequences

“The consequences of what we are doing with our teens, they are extremely dangerous, warned Dr. Julien. All the doctors who see teens are a little shocked, but at the same time extremely worried. When they will begin to déconfiner, what kind of teens are we going to have? What is the impact on the stall? What is the impact on mental health? They are already there. If you don’t give them a breath of fresh air, it will not work.”

Dr. Olivier Jamoulle, pediatrician adolescence at the CHU Sainte-Justine, believes that for the vast majority of them, being at school is better than being at home. “It is increasingly puzzled [pediatricians] because we are receiving more and more calls from teenagers in distress, who are going less well for the last two or three weeks. At the beginning, it was a bit of the rainbow, but now, the arc-en-ciel, there are more really.”


The retired professor of the Université Laval, Aegis Royer, is worried about the stall. “We’re in a system where school is compulsory until 16 years. So, imagine the guy of 15 years, which is already this year failed in French or in English or mathematics. There has been nothing structured in the public network, he had received nothing from his school, and there he intends to say that perhaps the schools will re-open no. You increase your risks of dropping out”, he explains in an interview with Mario Dumont.

The expert evaluates that the dropout rate could increase by 5 to 10 percentage points because of the current crisis, and because there is more presence in the classroom.

An aspect that also concerned the Coalition of parents of children with special needs. He claims even the opening “school emergency” for students at risk of failure and school drop-out in all regions of Quebec. “The priority, it should be the future of the students for the most vulnerable”, says its president, Bianca Nugent.

Parents “a bit catastrophés”

The Fédération des comités de parents du Québec, were confirmed yesterday to have received several calls from parents “a little catastrophés” by the statements of Mr. Roberge. “Some parents see hard to see how it could continue in the same conditions this fall,” says its president, Kevin Roy.

“It’s going to be worse almost as the virus. As much we have neglected our elderly, as now it fails our teens. It is very, very worried”, expressed Dr. Julien.


“I’m going to do everything for schools, cegeps, universities, as it is in person.”

– The prime minister, François Legault, yesterday

“The teens, nowadays, are the great forgotten. For us, it is extremely serious.”

– Dr Gilles Julien, a pediatrician

“The mental health issue will come out. They are not ill from the virus, children. They inoculate a disease of anxiety due to the confinement exaggerated.”

– Dr Gilles Julien, a pediatrician

“I see a big problem next to education. There is a huge difference between schooling private and public. There are a lot of young people who will have the delay at the start of September.”

– Dr Olivier Jamoulle, pediatrician adolescence at the CHU Sainte-Justine

“These are people who can be trusted. Empower them in the current period, it is so important ! […] I think they are actors to be reliable distance physics at the school.”

– Dr Olivier Jamoulle, pediatrician adolescence at the CHU Sainte-Justine

“We are afraid to see an increase in the stall if it continues.”

– Kevin Roy, president of the Fédération des comités de parents du Québec

“Our children do not have to be the scapegoats of a deficient planning that will cripple probably in the long term.”

– Bianca Nugent, president of the Coalition of parents of children with special needs

“It is not necessary that this health crisis from becoming a crisis in education, and leads to a high drop-out rate. This would, in our opinion, completely unacceptable.”

– David Bowles, president of the Federation of private educational institutions

“This is not very complicated to think that there is a scenario identical to what it was in this moment, it is only open to primary and pre-school, and then having distance education for secondary schools.”

– The minister of Education, Jean-François Roberge, Wednesday





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