Surrey mom files human rights complaint against school district

SURREY — A Surrey mother has filed a human rights complaint against the Surrey school district alleging her nine-year-old son was treated so poorly at an elementary school in Guildford, he threatened to kill himself.

Jennifer Mathieson’s allegations on behalf of her son Lamar have not been heard, tested or proved before any tribunal or court.

Mathieson filed her 19-page complaint in May and the tribunal served notice of the complaint on the school district in June.

"My son suffers from anxiety and was treated so poorly it caused him to have a breakdown," Mathieson told the Now.

"He started refusing to get out of my car at school in the morning and eventually started threatening to kill himself if he had to go back to the school. He is nine years old."

Mathieson alleged the school, Mountainview Montessori, failed to tell her at the beginning of the school year that her son wasn’t completing his work and that he was being kept in the school office every recess and lunch.

She also alleged he was kept in the school office for a day without his lunch and water bottle.

She told the Now her son was "so stressed" he was only able to attend school for one or two days a week, from February until June.

"Now that they have been served with the Human Rights Tribunal Complaint they are making every effort to deny everything that they have done and are trying to push my son out of the school."

Surrey School District spokesman Doug Strachan said "the district, out of respect for the human rights tribunal and the processes that it has, won’t be commenting publicly on these allegations."

In February, Mathieson wrote a lengthy letter to Surrey School District Superintendant Jordan Tinney about her concerns.

"I will add that Lamar is not properly supervised in the office as he tells me he has left on one occasion and no one noticed he was gone…" Mathieson wrote to the superintendent. "This is neglect."

She told Tinney that she took her son to hospital earlier in February "because he threatened to kill himself when it was time to go to school. He was evaluated by a social worker and the mental health team. I first had a lengthy conversation with the social worker and she concluded that Lamar’s trauma was caused by stress at school."

tom.zytaruk@thenownewspaper.com

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