A Mission mother is outraged after learning her son was beaten up during a fight, almost four hours after the school was informed.
Nicole Townsend, the victim’s mother, said the incident took place at lunchtime on Thursday (June 6). However she said while the school knew about the assault at about 12:45 p.m., she never received a call from the school until after 4 p.m. that day.
When she heard about the incident, Townsend said she “freaked out.”
“As soon as I saw his injuries, I took him straight to the RCMP in Mission and then we went to the hospital to the emergency room.”
Townsend was doubly concerned because her son has already suffered a concussion at work a few months earlier.
A Mission RCMP officer met them at the emergency room to take her son’s statement. According to Townsend, the officer almost immediately asked her if she would be willing to take the Restorative Justice option, rather than criminal charges.
“I said, ‘Not a good time to be asking me that, but the answer is probably no.’”
To add insult to injury, somebody sent a video of the attack to the victim’s phone. Townsend saw it for the first time while in the emergency room.
“It devastated me. I wasn’t prepared for that.”
The video shows the two students walking when a third person appears to shove both of them in the head from behind. The one student throws a punch, knocking the victim to the ground. Once on the ground the boy is struck six or seven times and then kicked as a crowd of kids watch.
On Friday, she met with both the principal and vice-principal of Mission Secondary and was told the other student involved in the fight wasn’t at the school as they asked him to leave.
“But they can’t tell me if he’s suspended or expelled. Apparently there’s a privacy act.”
To make the matter more difficult, Townsend works for the Mission School Board as a supervisor assistant.
“I protect other people’s children.”
She said she has called school superintendent Angus Wilson, but has not heard back from him at this time.
The Record contacted Wilson on Saturday for a statement.
“Mission Public Schools is aware of the incident that occurred Thursday and school admin have investigated it. Appropriate action is being taken against some students, but we will not be sharing that information with the public. The RCMP are also aware of the incident in question and have been in contact with school district officials,” he said.
Townsend said she feels the school failed her family by not contacting them immediately after they learned about the incident.
“My son went back to class – after being beaten up – with a head injury, and sat at school for three hours.
Townsend is hopeful that steps will be taken to deal with this and any other issues that take place.
“I don’t want any more problems for my son. I want him protected.”
Another concern is Mission only has one high school and there is nowhere else to send her son, or any other student who may feel threatened.