Posted: Jun 28, 2012 5:15 PM by Jenise Fernandez
Updated: Jun 28, 2012 5:29 PM
A French Immersion teacher at Prairie Elementary is at risk of having to leave the country because of a mistake her immigration lawyer made.
French Immersion teacher Florence Klein has taught at Prairie Elementary for three years. Her work visa is set to expire this year. Klein filed for a waiver and hired an immigration lawyer to help with paperwork.
"We started months ago, but because something didn't happen well, now it's a matter of days," said Klein.
Klein's attorney didn't follow up and the waiver was never processed. Now Klein only has a few days to complete a months-long process.
"If they say I have to leave, I have to go. I have no choice. I just follow the law," said Klein.
"I think it's unfair because she shouldn't have to pay the consequences for somebody else's mistake. It's her professional life at stake," said Klein's colleague, Delphine Coumpouras.
Colleagues and parents created an online petition. They're hoping immigration services speeds up the process.
"She's an asset to the school and community and she needs to stay," said Kerrie Leblanc, whose three kids are in French Immersion at Prairie Elementary.
"I don't want to see Madame Klein go cause there's not other 1st grade teachers that I really want to go in there class," said Abbie Leblanc, who's about to start 1st grade.
Staff at Prairie Elementary say losing Klein would be a devastating loss because French Immersion teacher are not easy to come by.
"We would have to go out and not only find someone to come in, but train someone to do what she already knows how to do," added teacher Stephanie Dupuis.
Klein also helped create an after-school reading program at the library, as well as a recycling program at the school. So far, her colleagues have collected 300 signatures. Klein has until July 14th to get everything processed before she's asked to leave the country.
To sign the petition visit http://www.ipetitions.com/petition/support-for-florence-kleins-h1b/