Nicolas Foucher was honored last year by the Nicolas family for his participation in anti-bullying efforts after he committed suicide at the age of 14.
On Tuesday, Quebec Health Minister Gaétan Barrette said that Foucher’s family would be compensated for his death with millions of dollars in public funds, which now includes an additional $1 million to fight bullying in schools.
On Wednesday, the Quebec coroner’s office announced that it will make another report into the case after 807 new cases of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COVID) were reported in its jurisdiction in the past year.
The coroner’s report revealed that Foucher’s cancer had previously been misdiagnosed because of a lack of testing. But he also attributed his death to being subjected to bullying by peers.
The coroner’s report added that, while the school surveillance cameras reported seven incidents of bullying last year, its investigation of such incidents found that, at the time, none of the incidents were reported to authorities.
The chair of Quebec’s Democratic Coalition of Parents, Diane Lamarre, tells CNN in an email that her organization is taking action and urging a review of the funding levels of the school districts that used to report incidents of bullying.
In a statement, Lamarre said, “As parents, and political leaders, we must also ask the question as to why our school districts abandoned the policy of daily monitoring as the standard.”
In an interview with the Montreal Gazette, Sylvain Perrault, a lawyer for the Foucher family, said that they’ve contacted the province’s health ministry as well as the provincial agency that oversees school board operations to find out why the bullying policies in the province did not produce more student referrals.
“The whole thing just leaves me angry and devastated,” he said.
Barrette explained that since the policy of daily reporting of bullying incidents was changed, they may not have been reported to officials.
“Every student has the right to get treatment for a chronic disease,” Barrette said. “Each child, during his adolescence, is going to get one or two lesions, maybe one will take over. The fact is, you don’t want to get a student who’s abused because of a chronic condition to have a breakdown or to commit suicide,” he said.
Barrette also explained that the policy could have changed when Foucher committed suicide due to the fact that the school district in the village of Côte-Vertu was incorrectly reporting daily reports of bullying to provincial education authorities.