Man chains self to Confederation Building over son’s education rights

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A Mount Pearl man briefly chained himself to a door at the Confederation Building in St. John’s Wednesday afternoon to call attention to the education rights of his son.

According to a reporter at the scene, police have since taken Julian Maytum inside the building.

Security prevented The Telegram from entering the building while police spoke with Maytum.

Maytum said handcuffing himself to the Confederation Building door is an attempt to get himself arrested and appear before a judge to challenge provincial educational policies.

"This is all I have," he said, noting a human rights case could take years.

Police did not arrest Maytum.

According to Maytum, his son suffers from an anxiety disorder. He was advised that his son should attend Brother T.I. Murphy Centre, a charitable organization located in downtown St. John’s that offers academic programs.

However, the Department of Education will not cover the cost to transport Maytum’s son to the centre. Maytum contends that’s not fair.

The department has previously stated that its alternate transportation policy is not for facilities outside the K-12 system.

Organizations: Confederation Building, The Telegram, Department of Education

Geographic location: Mount Pearl

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Recent comments

  • Stacie
    July 04, 2013 - 17:20

    His child is not a young kid. He has to be at least 17 and out of school at least 6 months before attending the Murphy Center. I know this because my daughter went to The Murphy Center to get her High school diploma. I had to drive her from St. John's west to the center which is now located behind CNA on Prince Phillip Drive. I have a physical disability myself but had to get my child to school.

  • Jamie and Michelle
    July 04, 2013 - 15:51

    Keep up the fight man and don't give up..

  • Kathy Foley
    July 04, 2013 - 10:19

    Julian, you have set a fine example for all residents of this province. The truth of the matter is that every child is special and all have a right to a free public school education. The kicker is that special needs children require HEALTH services and TRANSPORTATION. The provincial government will never accept the people's right to free access to medical care. And that transportation includes school, work, social visits, groceries and whatever else people need. Do not despair. Imagine If just one person a day chained themselves to Confederation Building, or many chained themselves one hour after another that would be an excellent thing. How many people with special needs families could they arrest before the situation explodes in their face or hits the national news? You are not alone Julian; there are many people who want to change your situation and we are doing our best to figure out how to fight this insanity. xxoo

  • Jon
    July 04, 2013 - 10:18

    Anyone who has argued that anxiety disorders are not similar to a physical handicap is perpetuating a negative mental health stereotype. It is a very legitimate problem that people don't treat mental illness equivalent to physical or developmental problems. It is, however, worth pointing out that there probably is no such allowance for transportation costs from the government past grade 12, but student loans and other aid programs are available to offset these costs temporarily. If your son is serious about going to school, you still have to go through the same procedures I had to getting through my education, very few people are considered "exceptional circumstances" especially when anxiety disorders are not considered the same as learning disabilities, though severe anxiety will obviously affect how well someone can learn. It's a rough life being a student, and I hope things work out and your son can manage to go to school Julian.

  • Meaningful eduation
    July 04, 2013 - 09:55

    IF that family wanted thier child to do french immersion, which wans't in the neighborhood school, would they school board pay to bus him to the french immersion school???? Obviously the school he was attending could not meet his needs so the school board, who is mandated to provide an education as one of our basic rights, should have to accommodate this family and 1. Provide a setting that is able to support his education, and 2. Not have the family pay out of pocket any more than any other family does to send their child to school. That is equality..

  • Jens mom
    July 04, 2013 - 09:16

    It takes a courageous parent to do what this man has done for his son. The education system in NL has been going downhill for the past number of years. RIght now kids with disabilities are not getting the same educaiton as everyone else and if you dont like it you can always take them out. Where is the duty to accommodate and support those who need it gone to with this government?

  • Tim
    July 03, 2013 - 22:49

    All the power to him. This is a man who cares deeply for his son. This is what happens when government ignores the needs of its people, some of those people get pushed to desperate measures.

  • Megan
    July 03, 2013 - 19:37

    @ORIGINAL TOWNIE; look at you, leaving your name with your comment. Just thought I'd ask (because I'm really curious) if you thought to put yourself in that man's shoes before you called him a loser?

  • Sylvia J.
    July 03, 2013 - 17:52

    Rules are rules? I'm so enraged by your attitude "Original Townie" that I can't even begin to reply. So I'm going to use Sarah Palin's words. "The government will bend the rules left and right to harass targeted taxpayers, conservative patriots, selected journalists, etc., but it will strictly exercise inconsistent and subjective rules to deny a child a shot at life."

  • Neil Conway
    July 03, 2013 - 17:21

    No, this man is not a loser. He is a fighter. Unlike original townie (anonymous whah?) he is not giving up. This government can expect lots more of this if they keep treading on the hopes of it's people. Just because the premier is an uneducated dolt doesn't mean we should all strive to be the same.

  • Townie
    July 03, 2013 - 17:17

    Only in Mount Pearl

  • Dave Moore
    July 03, 2013 - 16:31

    It is astounding just how much the Provincial Government suggest that they cover, but can't actually provide. Our child has been bumped from a preschool waiting list to a different school age waiting list and still waits to see somebody for diagnosis and treatment on some developmental issues. Coverage in many cases means that they put you onto a waiting list that they know your kid will age out of. Even when we spent private money to go out of the province there was zero financial support. The explanation from my MHA was that there are specialists here and a waiting list, so no help is available to go out of province. For some pediatric issues, that can mean 5 or 6 years to get help for developmental problems - help that will never be given until it is too late to correct. In one case our child needs OT help, the childhood waiting list cut her off before birthday #7, she bounced to the end of the line on the school-board's waiting list. If she did not get help before grade 3, she might never get it. So we once again have to try to get private consulting. Interesting that consulting is done by full-time O.T.'s in their off time. We are glad to find somebody, but still it begs the question of whether we have enough people? Is there a conflict of interest in working both public and private? And has the government already started running a 2 tier system inside our province, using waiting lists as a cover?

  • Julian Maytum
    July 03, 2013 - 15:20

    This is about my sons legally *enforceable* right to an education You're ire should be reserved for your provincial government that proceeds to not only break the law, but benefit financially also. Access to the law is a joke in this province as several justices have pointed out. How else am I to get the matter to the law? This province will ignore ruling 2012 SCC 61 at their own peril.

  • Ronnie O'Brien
    July 03, 2013 - 14:54

    When it is a special needs issue then we would hope that the government would take an exception to the rule and accommodate as necessary. I say way to go Mr. Maytum because not many parents are that passionate to do whatever it takes to look out for their siblings! Sometimes the primary caregiver can only do so much and this is where others, such as the government, can be of help.

  • Chelsey
    July 03, 2013 - 13:13

    Original Townie, I don't think you understand the situation. You don't know if Maytum has money to cover the cost of daily transportation to and from the school. Without transportation, his son lacks appropriate education which effects his future. What ever happened to school being free?

  • Charlene Morrison
    July 03, 2013 - 12:47

    Doesn't the government or school board provide a wheelchair bus or other transportation for special needs children?

    • Jay
      July 03, 2013 - 14:44

      Are you serious? His son has an anxiety disorder. This doesn't require a wheelchair bus. Our dependency upon government is getting ridiculous.

  • original townie
    July 03, 2013 - 12:10

    Loser. What an example for his son, not to mention role model. Rules are rules and they apply to everybody equally. You're not special Maytum so get over it already. What next....hunger strike :(

    • Wanda White
      July 03, 2013 - 14:04

      Do you have a disabled child there townie? He IS showing his son how to stand up and fight for principles and RIGHTS! Winston Churchill, I believe, also said, 'desperate times call for desperate measures! Do not judge someone unless you LIVE their situation. Your child, undoubtedly rides a school bus to and from school. Why should this child be denied?As stated in the article, Mr. Maytums child is disabled and need special transportation. Is discrimination, based on ability or mobility, acceptible to you? It is not okay by me!

    • Jackie Barrett
      July 03, 2013 - 14:10

      Original Townie, in my opinion, Julian Maytum's son should not be sent to a special school or centre, but educated through a public education system, and here's a reason why based on my personal experience. When I was a young child, I had numerous behaviour issues, including uncontrollable and risky behaviour due to Severe Autism and Learning Disability. During my first day of school at Halifax's St. Catherine's Elementary School in September 1979, you might find this hard to believe, but I got kicked out of that school on the first day due to my bad behaviour. This left my parents wondering if I should be educated at all, so they consulted my Grandfather, also named John "Jackie" Barrett, whom was a School Teacher during the time, and he said that every single child, including those with physical, developmental, or mental health disabilities, are entitled to be educated through a public system. The following day, I moved to another Halifax based elementary school called St. Joseph's - Alexander McKay school and their Special Education program. Lessons learned from my experience is Mr. Maytum should take my Grandfather's advice and ensure his son is educated through the regular school system with special supports. My teacher also helped get me diagnosed with Autism and Learning Disabilities, which was a big turning point in my life.

    • Mount Pearl Mom
      July 03, 2013 - 16:01

      You know it is obvious that the original townie does not have any children with special needs, I have two. I have nothing but a hard time with the educational system here, they just want to push these children through the grades and when they are not in the "system" cut them off and throw them to the wolves unprepared. Maybe you should educate yourself before commenting on something you know NOTHING about. You go Julian....I have your back...

    • Jose
      July 03, 2013 - 19:58

      Original Townie: you and nobody else has the right to call loser to a father fighting for his children. Rules are there to serve people no the other way around. If a rule prevents a children to acquire education that rule is wrong. You are wrong Mr. Very Uncanadian attitude and bad example for our peaceful and caring community

    • Colin
      July 04, 2013 - 08:42

      Equality and equity are not the same thing.