British Columbia

Parents demand better security at Vancouver school after girl sexually assaulted

Parents made the demands at an emergency meeting Thursday night at Sexsmith Elementary in South Vancouver.

Parents discussed security cameras, extra supervision at Thursday evening meeting

Sexsmith Elementary is a K-7 public school in South Vancouver. (Jon Hernandez/CBC)

Parents are demanding better security for their kids after a six-year-old girl was lured away from the playground of a South Vancouver elementary school and sexually assaulted last week.

At an emergency meeting at Sexsmith Elementary Thursday night, parents raised the idea of surveillance cameras, better fencing and more supervision at the school.

But those who streamed out of the school after the meeting said it had led to no clear action plan for improved security.

Until there is one, they said, they won't feel their kids are safe.

Pall Beesla said parents were looking for a way forward on better security. (CBC)

Pall Beesla left the meeting feeling frustrated.

"We keep getting told there are privacy issues," Beesla said.

"So my question was, tell us what we need to overcome these challenges as parents to make sure … the privacy is not outweighing the safety and safeguarding of our children."

Parent Ron Sareal wants to see security cameras at the school. (CBC)

"We hope that the school board would allow the school to have [closed-circuit television] around the building," added Ron Sareal, who has a daughter at the school.

When asked for comment, the Vancouver School Board sent CBC News a statement explaining that the school was working with police on the incident and supporting students.

"School staff are actively sharing safety messages with students and families and are working with the VPD to ensure a safe environment," the board said.

With files from Lien Yeung