A student was arrested at Maple Bay Elementary on Tuesday morning. (Google)

Cowichan school district defends lack of notice to parents following elementary student arrest

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Parents were of two minds about the appropriateness of arresting a Maple Bay Elementary student in front of his classmates Tuesday but one thing many agreed upon was disappointment over the lack of communication from the school after the incident.

Officials with School District 79 stand by their decision not to send out an alert.

Social media was abuzz after parents learned from their newsfeeds and from their children as they arrived home, what had transpired earlier in the day.

“Parents should have at least been immediately notified via an email after it was over so that they would be prepared to speak with their children about it properly instead of hearing about it on social media,” wrote Becky Johnston under the Citizen’s Facebook post.

In response to another parent, Marie Lomas-Cage wrote that she has kids in multiple classes at the school and hadn’t heard a word.

“Nothing sent here and I’ve got 4 classes covered….not impressed with no communication,” she wrote.

“We acknowledge that any presence of police at a school causes concern for parents and the larger community, but our responsibility lies on a balance, and during this time, the right to privacy and respect of the process outweighed our ability to give the limited information we had out,” explained SD79 spokesman Mike Russell on Wednesday. “As always, we encourage parents to reach out to the principal of their school if they have any questions.”

SEE RELATED: Student arrested at Maple Bay Elementary

The student was taken into custody on the Donnay Street campus during the regular lunch break.

Both Russell, and RCMP Island District spokesperson Cpl. Tammy Douglas maintain the student population was never at risk.

“We take the safety and well-being of our students extremely seriously and provide information when and where we can,” Russell said. “This investigation had nothing to do with our school, and our school was simply the backdrop for the arrest. We were assured from the outset that at no time were any of our students at risk.”

Russell said the “complicating factor” was that the identity of the student was well-known within the school community.

“All these factors contributed to us making the decision to not release further details as we did not want to prejudice the RCMP file, any information before the courts, or the student who is at the centre of the investigation,” he said.

RCMP have said they will not comment further on the incident, including why the arrest was made at the elementary school.

Just Posted

Tofino mayor cheers provincial government’s plastics survey

Mayors of Tofino, Victoria, Squamish and Rossland collaborate on letter.

Youth lead Ucluelet Cemetery nameplate project

Students navigate maps and scour local archives over three years to honour deceased.

Tofino awards $2.4M contract to connect path to Pacific Rim National Park Reserve

The district announced the project will be paid entirely with grants.

Semi-truck crashes on Hwy. 4 between Port Alberni and Tofino-Ucluelet

Drivers heading in or out of Tofino-Ucluelet Friday afternoon should expect delays

Disney Plus to launch in Canada in November

Analysts say latest streaming service may escalate cord cutting

B.C. manhunt suspects left cellphone video before they died: family

Family member says Kam McLeod, Bryer Schmegelsky recorded final wishes

Okanagan bus driver assaulted for asking patron not to smoke

59-year-old in hospital with non-life threatening injuries

B.C. sets rules for ride hailing, same minimum fee as taxis

Larger operating areas seen as threat by cab companies

Two hiking families team up to extinguish fire in B.C. backcountry

Children and their parents worked for three hours to ensure safety of the popular hiking region

Police seek tips in 2015 death of Island teen Brown

Four years has passed since the body of Penelakut Island woman was discovered

Vancouver man arrested after pregnant woman’s SUV stolen, then crashed

Police are recommending charges against a 22-year-old Vancouver man

Elections Canada to assess ‘partisan’ climate change rhetoric case by case

People’s Party of Canada Leader Maxime Bernier has said climate change is not an emergency nor caused by human

Most Read