SRCE, RCMP investigating incident between students

ANTIGONISH: Two students who allegedly assaulted another youth last week are scheduled to make their first court appearance in February.

At 10:46 a.m. on November 20, Antigonish District RCMP responded to a call from Dr. J.H. Gillis Regional High School in Antigonish about an altercation between two youths and another student. The victim, a 15-year-old male, was assaulted by two other males and sustained minor injuries.

“He didn’t want medical attention,” RCMP spokesperson Cpl. Jennifer Clarke said of the victim.

Strait regional centre for education (SRCE) coordinator of communication, Deanna Gillis, confirmed that after the school was notified of the incident, they called 911, then implemented the emergency plan.

A letter was then sent to families explaining that access was restricted to the school, teachers kept classroom doors locked, and staff and students remained in rooms and ignored class change bells, although classes continued.

“As a result of a behavioural incident involving students this morning, a hold and secure of the school was implemented in accordance with our School Emergency Management Plan,” principal Jack MacDonald wrote. “As a precaution, 911 was contacted and the local RCMP responded to our school. The hold and secure lasted approximately 15 minutes after which time our normal school routine resumed.”

The two suspects, 14 and 17 years old from Antigonish County, were arrested by the RCMP and released on conditions to have no contact with the victim.

Gillis explained that the incident is being investigated by both the RCMP and school administration

“The school administration has been in contact with the victim and the victim’s family and will provide support as needed,” Gillis told The Reporter. “The school administration [is] dealing with the incident as a disciplinary issue in accordance with the Provincial School Code of Conduct Policy.”

The students are facing charges of assault under the Youth Criminal Justice Act and are scheduled to attend Antigonish Youth Court on February 5, 2020.

Gillis added that students who want to discuss the incident further are encouraged to contact the school’s guidance counsellor and administration, in addition to support staff.

“The safety of students and staff is of utmost importance to the Strait regional centre for education and we will continue to work collaboratively with our schools to ensure that our students and staff are in a safe and secure learning environment.”