Siblings sue CEGEP over ’abusive’ fitness test

Athletic students say fitness test violates their Charter rights

Two siblings are suing their college because the two apparently athletic students failed a fitness test that kept them from graduating. Florence Dallaire-Turmel and her brother Olivier are seeking $25,000 each in damages from CEGEP de Lévis-Lauzon alleging the test is “abusive” and that it violates their Charter rights. Florence, who is a former gymnast, plays hockey and works out regularly, while Olivier cycles and plays hockey and tennis

The test, introduced in 2,000, counts towards 50 per cent of a students’ physical education credit, and requires students to walk up and down a couple steps at increasing speeds. A students heart rate is measured at different intervals. The goal of the test, according to a CEGEP spokeswomen, quoted in the Globe and Mail, is to give students a “healthy mind in a healthy body.”

After both Florence and Olivier failed the test the first time, they were given the chance to take it a second time, which they also failed. In Quebec, earning a CEGEP diploma is a prerequisite for being admitted to university. However, Florence was accepted to Laval on the provision that her diploma would be forthcoming. Her brother was permitted to take some university courses at Laval this past year.

The two are being represented by their father, Simon Turmel who is a lawyer and political aid with the provincial government. Turmel has told various media outlets that the test doesn`t take into account external factors, such as the fact that his son is mildly asthmatic. His daughter said on Canada AM that she has a heart rate that is naturally higher than others.

According to the lawsuit, the test is “illegal, abusive, arbitrary[and] unreasonable.” The college has so far stood by its fitness requirements.