Centennial Park Elementary parents shocked by reports Karla Homolka lives nearby
Parents of students at Centennial Park Elementary School are concerned after reports surfaced that Karla Homolka is living nearby and her children are attending the school.
On Tuesday, Principal Joanne Daviau sent a letter to parents addressing the reports, though she did not confirm them.
In the letter, Daviau assured parents that students are safe and school board officials have notified Chateauguay police, “who are taking this very seriously and collaborating with us.”
Daviau said she could not give out information on any families, citing Quebec privacy law.
“Please also know that the New Frontiers School Board has policies in place to ensure that adults who work or volunteer with our students are required to have criminal background checks done,” said Daviau.
"Our duty is to promote peace, law, and the quality of life of all citizens and visitors on our territory in full respect with the Canadian and Quebec Charters of Rights," wrote police.
Parent Karen Cessford expressed concern about the possibility of living near Homolka.
"I'm quite upset by it. I think as parents we should have the right to know if our kids are in danger. I found out she lives around the corner from me. Am I feeling safe for her to go out and meet new children and play and go to their house? Not so much."
Another parent, John Parlea, cautioned against parents taking their outrage out against Homolka's children.
"I can imagine other parents being uncomfortable about that but at the end of the day her child still needs to go to school and I hope it's not going to affect the overall spirit of the school," he said.
Homolka was arrested in 1993 in connection with the rape and murder of three teenage girls, including her younger sister Tammy. As part of a plea agreement, she was sentenced to 12 years in prison for manslaughter. She served the full term and was released in 2005, after which she settled in Montreal.
In 2012, journalist Paula Todd reported Homolka was living on the Caribbean island of Guadeloupe with her three children.
Homolka’s ex-husband Paul Bernardo was sentenced to life in prison in 1995 with no chance of parole for 25 years. After admitting to raping 14 other women, he was given dangerous offender status, meaning he can be imprisoned indefinitely.