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Quebec schools are safe, insists education minister

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Quebec students are not in danger, Bernard Drainville insisted Wednesday.

The province's education minister was responding to a question from Liberal MNA Marwah Rizqy, who had just reported an increase in violence in schools.

In particular, she mentioned the case of a teenager who was recently attacked with a hammer on the grounds of a high school in Montreal North.

According to the MNA, last year, school service centres in Quebec reported twice as many violent acts as in 2018-2019, before the pandemic.

In addition, the workplace health and safety board (CNESST) received about twice as many claims from school staff, she said.

Due to these circumstances, the Quebec Liberal Party (QLP) is asking the province's culture and education commission to take on a mandate to consult with experts.

The Liberal interim leader Marc Tanguay stood up in the legislature to cite the example of a mother in Beauport, Quebec, who withdrew her daughter from elementary school because she felt unsafe.

"I find it unbelievable that with his question, the leader of the official opposition is encouraging parents to homeschool," said Premier François Legault in response.

Drainville later added to Legault's comments, saying he didn't want "this idea that sending our child to school is putting them in danger" to take hold.

"School, for the very, very, very large majority, is safe for their child,'' he said.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Feb. 1, 2023

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