Concerns over the handling of alleged sexual harassment at a city high school has led an alleged victim, other students and parents to question the school’s policies.
A Grade 11 Bishop Grandin student alleges she was inappropriately touched by a male student at a school drama production last month, and says the student was only suspended for three days.
It’s alleged an obscene gesture was made by the same male student to another person three weeks later.
None of the students can be named for privacy reasons, but both alleged victims are upset with the consequences the boy faced.
“I don’t think the school did a good job of handling the situation. When he came back to school, I felt unsafe about being in the same building as him,” one alleged victim said. “A three-day suspension for sexual harassment is simply not enough.”
Calgary Catholic School Board spokesperson Janet Corsten said she cannot speak about the specific incident for privacy reasons, but said, “A student or parent has the right to contact police directly if they feel their rights had been violated. This is in addition to our district protocol surrounding involvement of police in certain situations.”
A Calgary police spokesperson said students who are concerned about incidents should contact their school resource officer or call the police.
The girl said the school didn’t call the police, and neither did she.
“They never asked me if I wanted to. School is supposed to be a safe place.”
A concerned parent close to the situation said the alleged incidents shouldn’t have happened in the first place.
Carmen, who withheld her last name, said what the boy is accused of doing is a crime.
“I think the police should have been called in,” she said. “I think it sends the wrong message.”
More than 200 students have joined a Facebook group called BGHS Students for the Increased Severity of Punishments for Sexual Assault.