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Winnipeg School Terrifies Children with CFS Threat

November 14, 2014 permalink

When two students showed up at Winnipeg's Sister MacNamara School without winter clothing, teachers threatened each with a call to Child and Family Services (CFS). The reputation of CFS has spread even to ten-year-olds, and they were terrified.



Students say teachers threatened to call CFS on kids without winter coats

Parents want apology or will protest at the Sister MacNamara School next week

Two parents whose children came home from Sister MacNamara School upset Monday want an apology.

Pam George's 10-year-old son and Buffy Ferland's daughter in the same Grade 5 class say their children felt threatened after a teacher told them she'd call Child and Family Services if they didn't show up at school wearing proper winter clothing.

George said her son, Peter Parenteau, came home terrified and in tears Monday.

Pam George and Peter Parenteau
Pam George zips up her son's winter jacket. Peter Parenteau, 10, said his teacher threatened to call CFS if the children came to school without winter clothing.

"My teacher was talking about people coming to school in sweaters and she said that's a reason to call CFS," he said.

"She said if we get into CFS care then it's going to be our fault."

Buffy Ferland's daughter who is in the same class came home with the same story.

"She said the teacher told her she's going to phone CFS if they don't wear jackets," she said.

Ferland said her daughter had a jacket but the next day she went shopping for boots.

"I got scared," she told CBC, adding the children were frightened too.

"The kids feel threatened," Ferland said. "My daughter didn't even want to go to school today."

George said she's now considering switching schools.

"I don't feel good about it," she said. "He's my son and I want him to feel safe. I want him to have that trust with the school."

The two parents said they met with the school's principal on Wednesday.

Pam George and Peter Parenteau
Pam George said her son, 10-year-old Peter Parenteau, came home terrified after his teacher threatened to call child welfare authorities if students weren't dressed for the cold weather.

George said they were told the teacher did not threaten the children with CFS, but was telling them how to dress properly for the cold weather.

A spokesperson for the Winnipeg School Division confirmed in an email that CFS was discussed, but in the context that it is a support service to help families get what they need.

School trustee Mike Babinsky said the division has to make things right.

"I don't know if the teacher said that or didn't. Maybe it was taken out of context," he said. "Ultimately we'd like to make peace with the parents."

George and Ferland said they are waiting for that to happen.

They said they want an apology by Tuesday morning.

If they don't get one, they plan to protest outside the school Wednesday morning.

Source: CBC