Charges laid in parking lot brawl at Colonel Gray high school
1 youth charged; 7 others referred to probation services
Charlottetown police have laid criminal charges against one student following a parking lot brawl outside Colonel Gray Senior High School in Charlottetown.
The 17-year old boy is charged with assault with a weapon as well as causing a disturbance by fighting. Seven other teenage boys have been referred to probationary services for causing a disturbance.
"We're just trying to send a very clear message that this isn't acceptable," said Cst. Tim Keizer, the school resource officer. "People were disturbed as a result of this because we had people that were videotaping it. We had teachers that had to intervene as a result of it. So you know it has a large impact on the school."
Portions of the Oct. 8 incident were videotaped on cell phones and shared on social media. Images show a cluster of boys jostling in the school parking lot. At times the figures appear to variously leap, kick, and punch at other each. No one was injured during the brief altercation.
The school resource officer downplays suggestions made on social media that the ethnicity of the teens played a role.
"It wasn't an issue of racial conflict at all," said Keizer. "Basically it was just two different parties that were out in the student parking lot that just didn't get along."
Colonel Gray will host a professional day Dec. 11 to address issues of diversity in the school, according to education officials. Progress is already being made, according to Keizer. Hundreds of students attended an international coffee house last Wednesday at the school, to celebrate the multinational makeup of the student body.
Bridges are already being built among the students involved in the Oct. 8 incident, according to Keizer.
"We've contacted the parents and the parents have been extremely supportive of the school and of police. They don't want their children involved in incidents like this."
No date has been set for the 17-year old student to appear in court. The identities of the teens are protected by the Youth Criminal Justice Act.