Resources & Insights

Do I Have to Send my Children to School During the Pandemic?

The Ontario Court, in the recent case of Chase v. Chase, has decided on the issue of whether it is in the best interest of a child to attend school in person or through online learning.

The child at issue is a nine-year-old who resided equally with both of his parents, pursuant to a separation agreement.

The child was enrolled in a French immersion program. The parents disagreed on whether the child should attend school in person or should attend the school’s online education program from home.

The judge, in considering the child’s best interest, considered that while the province and medical experts acknowledge that there are still risks incurred when reopening schools, they have weighed these risks against the psychological, academic and social interests of children, their mental health and the childcare needs of their parents.

The judge stressed that the provincial government, not the court, has the better vantage point when assessing school attendance risks.

The court reviewed all of the evidence and ruled that it was in the child’s best interest to go back to school in person in September.

Barrie Hayes, Partner