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University expulsion for twins is age discrimination: mother February 1, 2007

Posted by C.A.R.D in Age Discrimination, Card, Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination, Douglas, Dr. Denis Rancourt, Ontario Human Rights Tribunal, Science and Society, Sebastien, twins, University of Ottawa.

Wendy Foster is determined to teach her twins a lesson – you have to stand up for yourself no matter what.

And she’s going to a tribunal to prove it.

Her case concerns a University of Ottawa course that she attended with her twin 10-year-old boys, Sebastien and Douglas.

The “Science and Society” class – sometimes known as an ‘activism course’ – might have seemed a bit far above two kids so young,  but they not only enjoyed it, they excelled.

“I didn’t really understand all of it, so after the course my mom sort of talked me through it,” Douglas reports.

“I was able to express my opinion a lot more, and the professor’s really nice,” adds Sebastien.

But even though the pair acquitted themselves with flying colours, actually earning a passing grade, the University abruptly threw them out of the program just three weeks in.

What happened? The college claims their presence violated clear rules about eligibility.

Most Canadian universities mandate you need a high school diploma, work experience or a ‘gifted student’ designation to qualify.

But the twins didn’t fit into any of those categories.

Their mother insists that’s not fair, noting they’d been issued student cards and their fees were paid. “They deserve their credits … they did the work, they were registered properly,” an angry Wendy Foster reminds.

Her professor agrees.

“The course is designed in such a way that it takes students of any age or academic background. There were no prerequisites for the course,” concedes Dr. Denis Rancourt.

The Fosters now plan to take their case to the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal alleging age discrimination.

“You can’t just kick someone out  … because they’re too young,” concludes wise-beyond-his-years Sebastien. “It’s just like saying they’re too  tall or they’re too small to go to university. Like everybody should be allowed.”

Until now, the Ontario Human Rights code has only protected people 18 years of age and older.

But a recent constitutional challenge could open the door to complaints from younger children like the Foster twins.

And it appears these two have learned a lot about ‘activism’.

CARD {Citizens Against Racism and Discrimination} Source: citynews.ca

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