High school student forced to study in French can now go to school in English

A 16-year-old Anglophone boy who was forced to go to French school for his final year has been allowed to resume his studies in English.

Alois Orozco came to Montreal in 2010 with his mother, who was pursuing her PhD here.

At the time, he was eligible to complete his studies in English, where he flourished.

Orozco was an A+ student in Sec 4, with big plans.

“Hopefully get into Dawson College and into McGill and study medicine,” he said.

Those dreams, however, took a hit when he was ordered to return to school, but in French.

After his family received permanent residency a few months ago, he was told that per Bill 101, he would have to switch into the French school system.

The prospect of that stressed Orozco out, and not just for academic reasons.

“I feel like that would mess me up and my grades would drop,” he said. “I would miss out on my graduation with all my friends.”

In June, his parents applied for an exemption from the Ministry of Education on humanitarian grounds.

And on Thursday, that request was granted.

Orozco, who moonlights as a baseball umpire, could continue his studies at Royal West Academy, where he was greeted like a long lost friend when he returned.

Kathleen Weil, the provincial minister responsible for the English-speaking community, said that Orozco’s situation warranted the decision.

“Tomorrow, he can go back to school,” she said.