Nova Scotia

Settlement reached for student forced to lie in brook, used as human bridge

A human rights settlement has been reached between a boy with cerebral palsy whose bullying incident was captured on video and his Cape Breton high school and the local school division.

Cape Breton student's mother filed human rights complaint against Glace Bay High School

Brett Corbett, a Grade 9 student at Glace Bay High School, said he was sad and upset after other students taunted him into lying in a stream. (Gary Mansfield/CBC)

A human rights settlement has been reached between a boy with cerebral palsy whose bullying incident was captured on video and his Cape Breton high school and the local school division.

Video was widely circulated online in November of Brett McEachern, a Grade 9 student at Glace Bay High School, who was bullied into laying in a brook near the school. The video showed students walking over him like a bridge, swearing at him and calling him names.

Brett's mother, Terri McEachern, filed a discrimination complaint with the Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission on her son's behalf in December, saying she was unhappy with the way the school handled the matter.

According to a news release from the human rights commission, officials worked with the parties, which included staff at the school, through a "restorative conference" to reach an understanding of the issues and resolve the matter. A confidentiality clause means details of the settlement agreement will stay private.

A statement from Brett and his mother said "we are satisfied with this process and look forward to putting this matter behind us."

A spokesperson for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education said school officials have reflected and found ways to "make their school climate and culture even more positive" as they work to meet the needs of students.

Michelle MacLeod said "the determined focus of both Brett and the school was to ensure Brett felt safe and welcome in the school community."

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