COVID-19: No exemption despite repeated pneumonia

A girl who has repeated pneumonia does not have the right to distance school because her last pulmonary attack dates back more than a year, an “aberrant” criterion, denounces her mother.

“I can not believe it. Even the teachers are in shock ”, indignant Natacha Boudreault, resident of Saint-Jérôme.

Her 9-year-old daughter Tara-Elle Blass was unable to receive the medical ticket that would allow her to attend her classes virtually, as her condition does not perfectly meet government criteria.

She has such asthma that a simple cold tends to turn into an infection. Between winter 2016 and spring 2018, she suffered from no less than nine diagnosed pneumonia, reports Mme Boudreault.

The last pneumonia she overcame, in 2018, had severely degenerated. “We tried five kinds of antibiotics, nothing worked,” recalls Boudreault.

The little one had even had cardiogenic pulmonary edema, a complication that plunged her into cardiac arrest, she says with emotion.

Helping confinement

Following this episode, the family decided to move from a corner from Saint-Hubert to a roundabout in Saint-Jérôme, where the pollution and the risk of ignition are lower. Every day, Tara-Elle takes a drug containing cortisone, her mother lists.

“We did everything to make things better. And precisely this year, things are getting better, ”says Boudreault, who notices that the confinement has helped a lot. “And there, we would like to go back to school?”

Tara-Elle had already started doing remote work while waiting to receive the ticket from her pediatrician and be able to join the virtual school.

Natacha Boudreault

“Everyone was 100% convinced that it would be exempt”, summarizes Mme Boudreault.

However, the answer fell on Tuesday: Tara-She could be exempted from going to school in person … if only his last hospitalization in intensive care for pulmonary edema was less than a year ago, he the pediatrician would have explained.

However, it was not possible yesterday to speak to the doctor to confirm this information. As for the ministries of health and education, they had not answered the questions of the Journal on the exemption criteria when posting.

For its part, the English-speaking Sir Wilfrid Laurier School Board explains that a doctor’s note is required for the exemption to be possible.


For meme Boudreault, the criterion that excludes Tara-Elle is “illogical”. She would also like the process to be relaxed so that the opinion of doctors can be taken into account when a child is at risk without his condition coming within the framework. Or, at the very least, that the School Board can make an exception.

“I am outraged. I want it to go to the Prime Minister, ”insists the one who does not throw stones at the pediatrician or the school board, but at the system, which creates aberrations.

If nothing changes, the only option left at Mme Boudreault would be home schooling. This mother of four young children also runs her own virtual events business. “I can’t be a teacher any more.”

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