Ottawa

Petition calls for action after teen beaten near high school

The petition is in response to a video, which first appeared on social media late last week, showing a Gloucester High School student being pushed to the ground and kicked by a number of teens. 

Petition responds to video showing student being pushed to the ground and kicked

Ottawa police said Monday they had laid charges including robbery, conspiracy to commit an indictable offence, and intimidation after an assault Sept. 8 near Gloucester High School. (Guy Quenneville/CBC)

A petition calling on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) and the Ministry of Education to do more about bullying is gaining momentum online.

It is in response to a video which first appeared on social media late last week showing a Gloucester High School student being pushed to the ground and kicked by a number of teens.

The petition on Change.org, which more than 5,000 people had signed by Tuesday night, said the attack happened near the high school on Oglivie Road. 

The petition goes on to say the attack is "believed to be spurred from hatred and for racist reasons." 

It is asking for "actual steps" to be taken to deal with violence and bullying "due to race, religion, gender, or any other distinctions that might indicate vulnerability."

In a statement, Ottawa police said the robbery unit is investigating and that its bias and hate crime unit reviewed the video but didn't find evidence "to suggest that this was a hate-motivated incident."

WATCH | Video of attack on Ottawa high school student prompts petition (WARNING:  The contents of the video are disturbing): 

Attack on high school student prompts petition (Warning: Video contains graphic content)

5 months ago
Duration 0:34
A new petition is calling on the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board to do more about bullying in response to a social media video that appears to show a Gloucester High School student being pushed to the ground and beaten.

Ghina Koussa is one of the parents who signed the petition.

Her children go to Longfields-Davidson Secondary School, but she said bullying and violence in schools has become a huge issue and she thinks something needs to be done about it. 

"I feel the schools are not doing enough, the authorities are not doing enough, there's no incentive for these kids to be good kids," she said. 

In a statement, the OCDSB said it is aware of the event, which it said happened off school property.

It said Gloucester High School notified police of the assault and is cooperating with Ottawa police on the investigation. At this point, it said there is no evidence the perpetrators were Gloucester students. 

The board said the school is undertaking its own investigation, has been in touch with the student and is working to support him and his family. 

A spokesperson for Education Minister Stephen Lecce said in an email that the incident is completely unacceptable.

"All students — irrespective of faith, heritage, sexual orientation and colour of skin — deserve to feel safe in and out of schools," the statement said. 

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Kester

Reporter

Sarah Kester is a reporter at CBC in Ottawa. She can be reached at sarah.kester@cbc.ca.

now