Principal coerces 15-year-old into wearing mask — despite her medical exemption

Heritage Regional High School, Quebec — “My 15-year-old daughter was discriminated and violated of her rights on her first day at school yesterday because she is exempt from wearing a mask. The principal knew we declared her exempt, and that I did not consent that my child be masked,” said Stéphanie Desroches, the mother of the 15 year old girl.

That didn’t stop the principal of Heritage Regional High School from demanding the student wear the mask to avoid being kicked out of school.

“My daughter wore it because she just wanted to see her friends for the first time in 6 months … the school has also denied her bus transportation and is now demanding a written medical proof for the exemption if she is to go back,” said Desroches.

Desroches spoke to the principal following this information.

“I informed them that I didn’t have to prove her exemption, as per the government’s guidelines but they don’t care.”

As soon as she found out that Heritage Regional High School was not honouring her daughters mask exemption she went to pick her daughter up from school.

In the video above you can hear the distraught mother saying,

“They just completely went against my parental rights, my parental consent and decided what was best for my daughter. She has a medical exemption and they know it because she’s been at the same school board since she was four years old!”

“So they went behind my back, and coerced her to wearing a mask to stay at school so she could see her friends for the first time since March! Come on people wake up!,” she said.

Text messages between Desroches and her daughter. Photo supplied by Stéphanie Desroches.

“I told the school that she wasn’t coming back and I was going to file a complaint with the Canadian Human Rights Commission,” said Desroches.

Desroches is also currently seeking legal counsel for a lawsuit against the school for violating her daughter’s medical exemption.

What makes things worse is Ms. Desroches had emailed the school about the medical bylaw exemption.

“To top it all off on my first email I had even attached a twitter screen shot from the government of Quebec stating that as soon as someone declares they are exempt they are to be allowed service and they do not need to provide medical proof.”

Below is the email Desroches received from Sylvain Racette, the Director General of Riverside School Board.

Dear Mrs. Desroches,

I have reviewed the correspondence between yourself and Ms. Saha. To begin with, let me assure you that Ms. Saha, much like everyone at Heritage and Riverside School Board has Mélodie’s best interest at heart. We want her to have a most successful school year and we will do everything in our power to ensure that this is the case.

In regards to the subject at hand, according to the strict directives we received from the Ministry, in accordance with Publique Health, please note that there are very few exceptions to the obligation regarding the wearing of a face covering. These are: 

·        People who are unable to put on or remove on his/her own;

·        People with a facial deformation;

·        People who, as a result of cognitive issues, intellectual deficit, autism spectrum disorder, substance addiction or severe mental illness, are unable to understand the obligation to wear a face covering or for which the wearing of a face covering brings about disorganization or significant distress;

·        People who have a severe skin reaction to the face or ears which is significantly aggravated by the wearing of a face covering.

We believe that your daughter does not fall in any of the above-mentioned categories, which is why we have to apply the general rule which imposes the wearing of a face covering. I am sure that you understand that we have a duty to protect the health and safety of both the student body as well as that of our staff. We know that these are difficult times but, together, we will be able to get through them.

I hope that the above has provided you with additional context and would like you to know, Mrs. Desroches, that we remain at your disposal to answer any further questions you may have. 


Sylvain Racette

Diverge Media has reached out to Heritage Regional High School in St-Hubert Quebec, but due to the long weekend have not received a response yet. Diverge Media will update this article when Heritage Regional High School responds with their version of how events unfolded that day.

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Published by Greg Staley

Greg Staley is a husband and a father to 4 beautiful girls. He is the owner of Diverge Media and takes pride in telling the stories that matter - even if they may be unpopular. In addition to writing, editing, and producing videos and articles for Diverge, Mr. Staley also works full-time on a farm. Mr. Staley is working hard to be able to pursue Diverge Media full-time and wholeheartedly believes that it will become a reality in the near-future with the support of the readers/viewers of Diverge Media.