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Fight over homeschooling

Fight over homeschooling
07 Sep

Just a few days before the new school year, a St Michael single mother is at a standoff with the Ministry of Education.

It's over whether or not she can continue to home school her 13-year-old son.

The African Heritage Foundation is in the middle of the impasse, providing support to the unnamed single mother.

It claims the woman has been told she cannot home school her son after failing to show up at an assessment meeting and not keeping up with the Ministry's curriculum.

President of the Foundation Paul 'Simba' Rock says they will not accept the Ministry's recommendation to enroll the boy in the New Horizon Academy.

He's written to the Ministry of Education as well as the Prime Minister's office and is willing to take the matter to the law courts.

The mother reportedly took the teenager out of school because of what's being described as excessive physical bullying that led to numerous doctor bills.

Mr. Rock is charging that certain families are being targeted because of class.

In a dramatic turn of events late Thursday afternoon, the child's father has rejected that side of the story.

In an exclusive telephone interview with Cheyne Jones, the man who separated from the mother twelve years ago, says the claims of bullying are fabricated.

In fact, he said they follow a pattern of the child's time in primary school where he attended three different institutions because of similar allegations.

He is siding with the Ministry that the child must return to the school system claiming the mother to be in no academic position to properly home school anyone.

He says members within his son's household have reported that no adequate schooling is taking place.

He adds that the Child Care Board has received letters from neighbours concerned about the treatment of his son from the mother.

When CBC News contacted the Ministry of Education on the matter, a senior official said they will have a response soon.