April 13th, 2024

Quebec parents file $1.6M suit after teacher allegedly puts kids’ art for sale online

By The Canadian Press on March 25, 2024.

The Quebec Superior Court is seen in Montreal, Wednesday, March 27, 2019. A group of 10 Montreal-area parents are suing a high school teacher and a school board after their children's classroom art assignments were allegedly posted for sale online. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz

MONTREAL – A group of 10 Montreal-area parents are suing a high school teacher and a school board after their children’s classroom art assignments were allegedly posted for sale online.

The lawsuit in Quebec Superior Court seeks $155,000 per family, plus damages and a written apology from Westwood Junior High School art teacher Mario Perron and the Lester B. Pearson school board.

A filing dated March 15 says Perron had assigned his students at the St-Lazare, Que., school to produce a “creepy portrait” inspired by the style of artist Jean-Michel Basquiat.

The lawsuit alleges the students found out in February that the teacher was selling their artwork online without their consent, as prints or on T-shirts, coffee mugs, bags and decor, at prices ranging from US$9.50 to US$113.

It alleges the teacher’s actions violated copyright laws and shook the confidence of parents and students, and it demands that the students’ work be removed from the sales site.

The Lester B. Pearson school board declined to comment on the legal action but said in February that it was investigating the allegations and taking them seriously.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published March 25, 2024.

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