Nova Scotia

School volunteer charged with assaulting child

A volunteer at a Halifax elementary school has been arrested on charges of assaulting a child, CBC News has learned.

A volunteer at a Halifax elementary school has been arrested on charges of assaulting a child, CBC News has learned.

Dalton Jones, a volunteer soccer coach for Grade 5 and 6 students at Park West School, was arrested three weeks ago and charged with assault, assault with a weapon, uttering threats, unlawful confinement and resisting arrest.

The victims of the alleged assault are an adult and a child, who is not a student at Park West School. The assaults are alleged to have taken place from November 2009 to March 2011.

Court records say the weapon was a broomstick handle.

Halifax Regional Police Const. Brian Palmeter said Thursday that when three police officers showed up at the school to arrest Jones, 31, he resisted and officers used a stun gun on him.

He has a court appearance in two weeks.

Parents at Park West School said they were shocked to learn about the charges through the media.

"It's very bad for kids," said parent Heba Shaker.

Doug Hadley, a spokesman for the Halifax Regional School Board, said Jones has a criminal record and the principal of Park West School was aware of the convictions.

From June to September last year, Jones was on probation for resisting a peace officer and failing to comply with his bail conditions.

The principal of Park West School spoke to police and was not given any reason to believe that Jones posed any risk to students, said Hadley.

A prior conviction does not automatically preclude anyone from volunteering at a school — each situation depends on whether the principal decides there is a risk to students.

Despite that, some parents said they can't believe someone with a criminal record was allowed to volunteer at the school.

"I don't think it's appropriate for kids, something like this," said Shaker. "It's very terrifying."

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