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Blog > 2010 > Mother Slays Dragon

Mother Slays Dragon

May 25th, 2010

This is my belated Mother’s Day tribute to Maria Gallardo, who, in looking out for her son, was willing, and more than able, to take on anyone who got in her way.

Four years ago this month I wrote a blog entitled “As Canadian as…. a Knife and Fork,” which commented on the disturbing experience of a young Filipino-Canadian boy. The youngster, Luc Cagadoc, was then a Grade 2 student at a Montreal-area school and he was repeatedly admonished and humiliated by a lunch monitor for the manner in which he chose to use his eating utensils. The school principal and local school board both supported the lunch monitor and adamantly refused to apologize for their intolerant behaviour when they were called upon to do so by Luc’s mother. But Maria Gallardo would not allow the issue to just fade away.

Not willing to just accept her son’s mistreatment, Luc’s mom filed a complaint with the Province of Quebec’s Human Rights Tribunal. Last month, the Tribunal ruled that the school and its two employees discriminated against Luc as a result of his ethnicity and ordered them to pay Luc’s family $17,000 in damages.

So I want to acknowledge and express my admiration for Luc’s mother, Maria Gallardo. She taught her son and all of us a very important life lesson. The “authorities,” whoever they may be, do not always act properly. When they are abusive, she taught us that we ought to have the courage to stand up to them. Even if we don’t win, we will have done what is right. And sometimes, as in Luc’s case, we do win.

For representing everything that is great about mothers, I salute Maria Gallardo.



 
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19 Responses to “Mother Slays Dragon”

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I also salute the courage of Maria Gallardo.
    Those who are attach or holding on to racial descrimination, read the bible, know the social graces, know the moral and social values applicable mostly to all people if not all, etc. You have no right to judge other people’s practices as long as it is still acceptable for to each his own

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    great job! pilipino mabuhay ka!!!!!

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I do salute Maria Gallardo for standing and beleiving for the right… the world became just so small these days due to the everyday developing of new high technology, people from different places/part of our planet are almost all aware about the existence of other people which has their own identifiable ethnicity and culture…yet, it is very clear that we all have our own space in this world and we can live and more so share who and what we really are to those whom we met everyday.But, some people are just so ignorant enough not to be able to appreciate the uniqueness of others, instead look and treat them far less than who and what they are. I beleived that these kind of people are much to be petied than their innocent victims,because its very clear that their ignorance is so much dependent on their limited mind and understanding.

  • On May 26th, 2010, Saulat said ...

    Thanks for sharing this story with all of us. Its heart warming. And ‘I salute Maria Gallardo.’

    Regards,

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    Canadian human rights ,I salute you!

  • On May 26th, 2010, DELPHINE said ...

    I FEEL HAPPY AND APPRECIATE LUC mother’S IMMEDIATE INTERVENTION TO DEFEND THE SON BECAUSE THERE IS ALWAYS A PROPER WAY TO ENLIGHTEN PEOPLE. MOSTLY IT GOES WITH LOVE IN ORDER TO BRING CHANGE OR POSITIVE TRANSFORMATION IN SOMEBODY’S LIFE .ON THE OTHER WAY ROUND, A PERSON WHO IS SPIRITUALLY MATURED COULD SMILE OVER INSULTS AND HUMILATIONS OF LIFE ON BEHALF OF JESUS CHRIST SINCE HE HIMSELF ALSO RECEIVED SUCH ODDSFROM THE SOCIETY THANKS.

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    So the $17k solved the problem? Not much of a solution.

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I do also salute Maria Gallardo for her brave courage.
    Regards,

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    I really admire Mrs. Gallardo. She deserves to be recognized and appreciated for what she has done… indeed, a mother’s love is the best…

  • On May 26th, 2010, Anonymous said ...

    i felt sad about this issue maybe because Mrs. Gallardo and I share a lot in common…i am also a Filipino, a mother of 2 boys, 9 and 13 yrs of age, and i am really very concerned about my childrens’ welfare, i love them dearly and if same thing will happen to them, ( i also have plans of applying for an immigrant visa in canada) i don’t think i could bear it… i salute and admire you, Mrs. Gallardo..i pity the lunch monitor and the school principal on the other hand, you should serve as role models to other people instead of acting like true Canadians in the wrong manner. May God bless you and forgive you for what u’ve done to a young innocent boy. Try to imagine, what if you were the ones in place of the boy and his mother? You think you can bear it? Good thing not all Canadians are narrow minded like you…

  • On May 26th, 2010, Farida said ...

    Yes you have to stand up to discrimination and first, do disclose your name. If you do not have that much courage how do you think you would win…

  • On May 28th, 2010, Hopeful Canadian said ...

    The school principal along with the local school board in addition to the lunch monitor have not even given it a thought to even excuse from the boy even now after the court verdict – I think so.
    This is very unfortunate not to accept one’s fault and keeping on insisting for one’s discrimination to other different one ( Certainly not an inferior one ).

  • On May 28th, 2010, Bakarh said ...

    Many kind thanks to Mrs.Gallardo and also the Judges. But I would also like to give thanks to the lunch monitor and school authority as well, that they did not lie to the tribunal . Because proving such mistreatment of past , which is always the case, is always not easy unless people have honesty and integrity. I would also like to give a benefit of doubt to the lunch monitor and school authority that, may be they did not do it from any racial instinct rather lacked in multicultural
    awareness and underestimated the importance on reviewing their own code of conduct to pupils especially those who were belonging to a totally different culture .

  • On June 7th, 2010, srijon said ...

    i pay gratitude from the core of my heart

  • On June 14th, 2010, amzad said ...

    Thanks to David Cohen for appreciating the courageous mother who took courage to protest against discrimination.
    amzad
    Bangladesh

  • On June 15th, 2010, stephen said ...

    I appreciate Maria Gallardo for her remarkable behavior. I think Life is about been in line with God and improving people’s life in your own way.
    Stephen.

  • On June 18th, 2010, Jim Maine said ...

    This is so true we need to stand and say what we mean to whom ever when we are wrong love your courage maria Luc and Hanna are lucky to have you !!

  • On June 19th, 2010, Raymond Anayo said ...

    I admire the courage of this mother, despite the odds she made sure justice was given.

  • On September 22nd, 2010, mabelle said ...

    Hi, I heard this case when I was in Quebec 2009 summer…I was not sure it was real but now I know. I myself experience such things when i was in quebec,. I am a lIve-In caregiver/Nanny and one time we were having dinner,The grandmother of the kid I was taking care of, ask his son (who is the dad of the kid), “how come chinese do know how to use knife and fork?” In my strong personality told her, fyi madam, We use knife to cut steak and 2nd I am a filipino and not chinese!. She was surprised…Then one time, we were having dinner again w/ the grandmas siblings who looks aristocratic and they speak french and german, they were talking about me (in bad way), and we are in 1 table. I butt in, and answer them in english and the brother ask me, you understand us, I lie and said Yes…Since then, they speak english.

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