Daughter's black eye prompts mom to call for end to alleged school bullying

A P.E.I. mother has filed a complaint with police and with Summerside Intermediate School (SIS) after she alleges her daughter was assaulted earlier this week.

Warning: this story contains strong language

Summerside Intermediate School ninth-grader Sara MacKay says she was elbowed in the eye earlier this week, resulting in a black eye. (Nicole Williams/CBC)

A P.E.I. mother has filed a complaint with police and Summerside Intermediate School (SIS) after she alleges her 14-year-old daughter was assaulted earlier this week.

Amanda Gallant said she believes another student intentionally hit her daughter Sara MacKay at the school Monday.

Sara said she was in the school's student services centre having lunch with friends when another student approached her, grabbed her arm and elbowed her in the eye. 

"It's still sore and it's hard to see," Sara said.

'Physical and verbal abuse'

Gallant alleges this is just the latest incident in ongoing physical and verbal abuse of her daughter by other students.

Sara MacKay says her eye is still bruised and sore after she was hit in the face on Monday at Summerside Intermediate School. (Submitted by Amanda Gallant)

"In grade seven I was pushed around into lockers, in walls. In grade eight I was pushed down a flight of stairs, still being bashed into walls. They punched me in the gut as well," Sara said. 

Last month, Sara called home crying saying she was being called "slut, a whore and a fat whale" by fellow students, said Gallant.

"My brain tells me to ignore it, but my body tells me I want to fight back but I can't," said Sara. 

Ongoing investigation

Gallant said after the incident on Monday, she made a report to the police and Summerside police confirmed to CBC they are investigating an alleged assault.

SIS Principal Doug Doyle said the school investigated Gallant's complaint and that he has spoken to two witnesses to Monday's incident.

Through those discussions, Doyle said he identified the student he believes was involved and the school is following protocol to handle the situation.

He did not specify whether bullying had happened or what action was taken, although he did say he did not consider what had happened "malicious."

"We don't want any bullying," he said, adding the school takes any incidents of bullying very seriously. 

Doyle said that any incident brought to the staff's attention is investigated, and that he's considering asking the school board to install cameras at the school to help investigate any complaints that might come up in the future.

CBC contacted the Public Schools Branch but they said they would not be commenting on the matter.

'It's not going to get any better'

Even though Sara is moving on to high school in the fall, Gallant worries the problems her daughter is experiencing will follow her to her new school.

"I get upset but I have to keep my cool because she's almost out of that school but it's not going to get any better because she'll be moving onto Three Oaks with the same group of kids," she said.

Amanda Gallant (right) says she believes the issues facing her daughter Sara (left) will follow her when she moves on to high school. (Submitted by Amanda Gallant)

The alleged abuse has gotten so bad, said Gallant, that her daughter sometimes is too afraid to go to school.

"My daughter's to the point where she does not want to be in school, and that's a sin," she said.

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