Halifax police called schools hundreds of times since 2018

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Halifax police called to schools hundreds of times since 2018

Halifax Regional Police records show officers have been called to schools due to violent incidents involving students more than 420 times since 2018.

Teachers and support staff want better protection after two of them were stabbed at a Halifax school this week.

Two employees of Charles P High School Allen are in critical but stable condition in hospital. A 15-year-old student faces 11 counts, including two of attempted murder, in connection with the event.

Violence in schools right now is rampant and I don't think people know what school is like, says Ann Marie Danch, who was an education assistant for 20 years.

We have assistants who have been in the hospital for long periods of time because they have been so seriously injured by students.

Halifax Regional Police have been called to or near schools for violence involving students 424 times since 2018. According to data provided by police, charges were laid in 77 cases .

Two staff at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford were stabbed by a student on March 20, 2023.

Most of the calls were classified as assault or threats. Thirteen of 48 weapon calls resulted in charges.

“We shouldn't be afraid to go work and in many cases we are afraid to go to work.

—Ann Marie Danch, Education Assistant

I was kicked, bitten, punched and had hair pulled out of my head, reports fellow education assistant Latisha Levering. And this year, I had a student attack me in the chest.

In 2018 alone, police responded to 183 cases of violence in schools or close to it is the worst in five years. These types of events have decreased significantly in 2020 as many young people have been schooling remotely due to the pandemic.

The president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union says they are compelled to consider how schools can be made safer after Monday's event.

It is, I believe, a teacher's worst fear and certainly a parent's worst fear that this could happen, admits Ryan Lutes in an interview.

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Ryan Lutes is president of the Nova Scotia Teachers Union.

The president, who is also a high school teacher, says the union and the province need to look at what services can be deployed to prevent this kind of behavior among students.

What supports weren't in place for this to happen, asks Ryan Lutes. You know, what social safety net supports, what mental health supports does our school system need to provide that maybe weren't there?

He adds that the Union wants to be involved in any discussions the province may have regarding improving school safety.

Becky Druhan, Minister of Education and Early Childhood Development for Nova Scotia and Member of Parliament for Lunenburg West, on October 12, 2021 in Halifax.

The Minister of x27;Nova Scotia Education says it is too early to tell what changes will be made to make schools safer as it is still awaiting the findings of the police investigation.

The ongoing investigation in the school to understand exactly what happened and the work we will do to review this situation and other available information will help us understand the next steps to ensure our schools are as safe as possible, says Becky Druhan.

The Minister did not say whether the Department of Education is considering install metal detectors in schools to prevent students from bringing in weapons.

< em>With information from Josh Hoffman, from CBC

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