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Father charged after alleged bullying incident at Quebec school


A father has been charged with assault and uttering threats after he allegedly went after his son's apparent bully in a confrontation outside a high school about 80 kilometres northeast of Montreal.

The incident has drawn the attention of Quebec's education minister who said he wants answers after the altercation involving multiple students was caught on video. Meanwhile, parents say the École Pierre-De-Lestage in Berthierville, Que. is known to have frequent fights.

The video shows at least three high school students, including one who pushes a boy over while yelling at him. The boy gets up but the story doesn't end there.

In a second video, the father of the boy who appears to be bullied confronts the youth and yells that he'll put them in the ground if they touch his son again. The exchange ends with one of the students appearing to be pushed into the snow.

Parents of children who attend the school say the torment has become too common.

"I'm fed up. I'm really fed up," said Sophie Girard, whose 16-year-old daughter was bullied so badly that she said she contemplated taking her own life last year.

"Every day, she's told to go kill herself," the mother said. "She got a message at the beginning of the year with a picture of her sitting in class from behind and it said by the end of the year I'll send you to the hospital."

Education Minister Bernard Drainville said he was "very troubled" by the incident and has asked the school's service centre to look into the matter.

"Very, very saddened. And I want to know what happened," Drainville said Wednesday.

He said that since 2006, every school is supposed to have an anti-bullying and anti-violence plan.

While the minister said the first video is upsetting, "We must also say that we cannot condone in any way, shape or form a parent who decides to make justice himself."

The Centre multiservice des Samares didn't respond to an interview request on Wednesday.

Parents say there are often fights at the school and accuse staff of not intervening.

"I went and picked up my daughter from school and I had to get involved because no one was bothering to step in," said Girard, adding that when punishments are given out, they aren't severe enough.

Her daughter missed so many classes to get away from tormentors that she had to repeat the 8th grade.

"Parents have reached that point of frustration," she said, adding that they are trying to protect their children. Top Stories


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