School board investigating after 12-year-old ends up with broken leg at recess

A P.E.I. mother thinks her 12-year-old son, who has autism, may have been the victim of bullying.

Mother believes injury was the result of bullying

Rose-Lune Goulet believes her son, who has autism, was the victim of bullying after he broke his leg at École Francois-Buote. (Submitted by Rose-Lune Goulet)

A P.E.I. mother thinks her 12-year-old son, who has autism, may have been the victim of bullying. 

Rose-Lune Goulet's son ended up with a broken leg while outside for a morning recess last week at École Francois-Buote.

"I would really like for this story to bring awareness on bullying and making sure our kids are safe in school," Goulet said.

The boy needed surgery on his leg and has been in hospital since the incident.  

"It just breaks my heart," Goulet said. "I've been in the hospital every single day for at least 18 hours of the day," 

She said she didn't want to go into a lot of detail about what happened as an investigation is currently underway by the school board and police.

'He's suffering and he's scared'

"He got bullied at school for many years now," Goulet said.

She believes he was pushed.

"A broken femur is a serious injury, it should never have happened ... I've voiced my concern and I just want to be able to work with the school."

Rose-Lune Goulet's son required surgery and has been in hospital since last week. (Submitted by Rose-Lune Goulet)

Goulet said her son had to wait more than a day for surgery because this kind of broken bone in a child is uncommon. "He's suffering and he's scared, but he's working through this like a champion." 

Goulet is on leave from her job to take care of him and said she isn't sure how long his hospital stay will be.

"It can be a very long time after for physio and everything," she said. "It all depends on the willpower." 

French Language School Board investigating

The French Language School Board said it's speaking to students and staff at École Francois-Buote, but said it's premature to say exactly what happened, or if it was in fact bullying. They are speaking to students who were with Goulet's son as well as other witnesses.

We're taking the necessary measures to try and sift through the details that we need to have so we can address the situation appropriately.— Anne Bernard-Bourgeois

"Often kids get harmed on the playground just by playing and so at this point we're not sure if this was some playing that went wrong unfortunately or a deliberate attack to hurt someone," said Anne Bernard-Bourgeois, superintendent of the school board.

"We're taking the necessary measures to try and sift through the details that we need to have so we can address the situation appropriately," she said.

The superintendent couldn't say if there had been previous complaints of bullying involving the student. 

"We're not turning a blind eye, we're just wanting to have the right information," she said. 

The French Language School Board said there are anti-bullying policies in place at its schools. 

"I can assure the parents, and I guess this community in general, that we are addressing the situation," Bernard-Bourgeois said.

The school board said a decision is expected in the coming days.

Fundraiser in the works

Family members are supporting Goulet's son through a fundraising campaign.

They want to raise enough money to cover some extra medical costs, including renting a medical bed. Goulet said they also hope to send him to see his favourite hockey team, the Pittsburgh Penguins.

"The whole reason behind this is to know there are not just bad people around, there's a lot of good people ... I appreciate all the supports from everybody of course," she said.

Goulet describes her son as strong and says he's been getting good care at the hospital. 

"We are pulling through this," she said.

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