A report from the Chronicle Herald alleges that refugee students are abusing young girls in Grade Three.
[NOTE: Scroll down for UPDATES] A mother, referred to as Missy, told the Herald that, “There has always been some fighting and bickering going on at the school but never to this degree.”
The Herald says Missy's daughter, who attends Chebucto Heights Elementary School, was “choked on Monday and Thursday last week by two refugee boys” and “a chain was used on both occasions”.
Missy added that one boy yelled “Muslims rule the world” while choking her daughter.
According to Missy, the students were not disciplined further.
The Halifax Regional School Board says that refugees began registering at Chebucto Heights, located in the Cowie Hill neighbourhood of Halifax, in mid-February.
According to school board spokesman Doug Hadley as of last week, there were 252 refugee students enrolled in the region. There are another 71 waiting on settlement of permanent housing.
Another mother said her daughter begs not to go to school after she was “slapped after she and a classmate disagreed in the schoolyard.” But the school did not even call to let her know.
Hadley said he encourages an open stream of communication between the school staff, students and parents.
“We have a long history of welcoming newcomers all over the world to Nova Scotia,” said Hadley. “It doesn’t matter if the student is new to Canada or if they have been in school for many years in our system. Schools would address it no matter who the child is the same way."
[April 10 10:39am ET UPDATE]
After briefly posting an edited version of this story -- see The Rebel's "update" below -- the Chronicle Herald has now deleted the story from its site and replaced it with this notice:
[April 10 9am ET UPDATE]
The original Chronicle news story has been edited. The statement "Muslims rule the world" is no longer included, for example. No reason is given for these edits and they are not acknowledged in the revised version. Here is the original Chronicle story (PDF via BlazingCatFur):
[April 11 9am ET UPDATE]
The Chronicle Herald has posted yet another statement that reads in part:
Bullying is a sensitive subject. So is the integration of newcomers, particularly those who have faced challenges, even trauma, on their way here.
Our story was incomplete and insufficiently corroborated, given the serious nature of the allegations.
Readers also rightly pointed out that the headline ‘Parents worried over school kids’ brutality’ was unfortunate. Using the word brutality to describe children, particularly of an identifiable cultural group, is problematic.