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School district issues statement after assault on teen girl

COURTENAY, B.C. – The Comox Valley School District has issued a statement, in the wake of a serious assault on a 15 year old girl.

According to the girl’s mother, the assault took place earlier this week, on the trail between Valley View Drive and Valley View Elementary School, between the blackberry bushes.

The mother said her daughter was attacked from behind, and didn’t see who was involved in what happened. The trail is used by both elementary school students and students who attend Mark Isfeld High School.

The girl was hit so hard she lost consciousness, the mother added. Four teenagers were allegedly involved in the assault.

READ MORE: RCMP investigating after teenage girl assaulted on the way to school

This afternoon, the Comox Valley Schools board issued this statement on behalf of chair, Janice Caton:

“Comox Valley Schools takes the physical assault of a student very seriously. 

A physical assault is how this was reported, so it is important to differentiate the incident from bullying and harassment. Whether assault or bullying, the safety of our students is paramount. When a child reports an assault, we institute our safety protocols and we will work very closely with the RCMP through a well-defined threat assessment protocol and investigation process.

Our Board and staff will immediately act when the safety and welfare of a child is infringed.  Our district has resources in place to both resolve current issues and to provide education to our students about the impact bullying and harassment has on both the victim and perpetrator.  We utilize administration, counsellors, outside resources, and families to educate on this important issue. 

The province of BC also has ERASE bully program. ERASE is all about building safe and caring school communities. This includes empowering students, parents, educators and the community partners who support them to get help with challenges.  The program offers a Report It Tool and is a safe way to notify a school or school district coordinator privately. All school districts have an obligation to inform the ministry on how a report to ERASE was handled and what actions were taken to resolve the incident.

While we cannot comment on an open investigation, we want our community to understand how deeply concerned we are for the student, supporting to the family as the RCMP continue their investigation.”

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