WATERLOO, Ontario, March 2, 2012 ( – The recent case where the father of a pre-kindergarten student was arrested, strip searched and told he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm because his daughter had drawn a picture of a gun, was perfectly acceptable because educators are “co-parents,” a school official in Waterloo told an interviewer from Sun News.

Gregg Bereznick, Superintendent of Education at Waterloo Region District School Board, said, in answer to interviewer Kris Sims’ question whether he was personally satisfied or upset with what happened, “we do work hand in hand with these families because we co-parent …”

On being asked to explain the term “co-parent,” Bereznick said, “by co-parent I’m talking about teachers and parents working together to support children as they grow up. And so those relationships are important to us, and we value them. But we also understand that within that context, it may be required for us to bring forward a disclosure because it is our legal requirement to do so.”

The situation developed when 4-year-old Neaveh Sansone drew a picture on an erasable white board of her dad Jessie holding a gun that she said was used to shoot monsters.

According to CNews Mr. Sansone, a 26-year-old father of four, was arrested by police at his children’s school, strip searched and told he was being charged with illegal possession of a firearm.

It was reported that three of his children were taken by Waterloo Region Family and Child Services to be questioned and his pregnant wife, Stephanie, was also taken to the police station.

After searching the Sansone home police revealed they found a transparent plastic toy that shoots small plastic BBs and is available in the toy section of most department stores.

Alison Scott, executive director of Family and Child Services for the Waterloo Region, was unapologetic about what the Sansone family was put through, according to a QMI Agency report.

“I am really sorry that the family is as upset as they are, but we followed proper standards and procedures,” Scott said. “I do not see any need for our agency to apologize for fulfilling our mandated responsibility.”

Brian Rushfeldt, President of Canada Family Action, expressed concern with the official’s remarks. The situation is “most bizarre,” he said, suggesting it is another indication of the state’s intent to remove authority over children from their parents.

The statement comes shortly after the Canadian Supreme Court denied Quebec parents the right to opt their child out of the province’s mandatory religious and ethics culture curriculum, a decision that a lawyer in the case said effectively transfers authority over education from parents to the state. Recently an education official in Alberta also said that under the province’s proposed Education Act, homeschooling families would not be permitted to teach their children traditional Christian sexual ethics during class time, although the province has since indicated it is backing down.

“Only when educators cross the line from public education to intrusion of the private parent-family unit would any ‘official’ think they are co-parents. Social coercion is not the role of public education,” Rushfeldt said. “Education curriculum which intentionally rejects, opposes or fails to support proper and right teaching in the home must be removed. The state cannot be allowed to control parent -child relationships. It is morally corrupt to do so.”

“’Listen, my son, to your father’s instruction and do not forsake your mother’s teaching’ is a truth that is being disrespected by any teacher or official who puts themselves in the role of parent,” Rushfeldt observed.

Contact information:

Waterloo Region District School Board
Gregg Bereznick, Superintendent of Education
51 Ardelt Avenue, Kitchener, ON, N2C 2R5
Phone: 519-570-0003, Ext 4211

Family and Child Services for the Waterloo Region
Alison Scott, Executive Director
200 Ardelt Ave., Kitchener, ON, N2C 2L9
Phone: (519) 576-1329
Fax: (519) 576-4709
Email: [email protected]

Waterloo Regional Police
Matthew A. Torigian, Chief of Police
P.O. Box 3070, 200 Maple Grove Road
Cambridge, Ontario N3H 5M1
Phone: (519) 653 7700
Email: [email protected]