BROOKFIELD – A local mother is concerned about an incident involving an air pellet gun on a school bus here on Monday.
“I have a few relatives that go to South Colchester Academy, including my son now and a daughter used to go there,” said Jennifer Steeves, the day after a student was detained at the school for bringing the gun on the school bus.
“I’m not sure why the student brought the pellet gun – I don’t know if they were intimidated by someone or trying to intimidate someone else, but there is no communication from the school with the parents when things happen.”
While Steeves’ son attends South Colchester Academy, she also has a daughter attending Winding River Elementary School. Students from both schools travel on the same bus to school.
“I commend my daughter’s school for taking action,” she said, adding it was her understanding the elementary school principal called the Colchester RCMP about the pellet gun.
“Even though it was an air pistol, it could still shoot and harm somebody,” Steeves said.
She said her concern for the lack of communication doesn’t just stem from this incident, but others in the past including her son’s bus breaking down last year and him being an hour late arriving home. She also said her son has “witnessed students carrying knives.”
“These are being minimized every single time,” she said.
Nevin Jackson, principal at South Colchester Academy, said he hasn’t been made aware of any students carrying knives this year, whether inside the school or on the bus.
“If we had been aware of anything, I can assure you it would have been dealt with,” he said. “If anything like this comes up, we deal with it.”
Debbie Buott-Matheson, communications manager for the Chignecto-Central Regional School board, confirmed a board policy about communicating with parents in regards to serious matters is in place.
“If an incident like (the air pellet gun) occurs and the entire student body knows about it, we will send home a letter to parents,” Buott-Matheson said, adding Winding River Elementary sent home a letter.
“Each incident has to be taken as it happens. If it was an incident where the entire student body was involved, or if it only involved a few students but the reverberations affected more, then yes, we would send something home. When an incident happens, say perhaps between two students and it isn’t felt between the rest of the school, then no, it’s not something we would share.”
She said because the RCMP were called, the incident involved many students and the student was detained on school property, “the responsible thing is to send something home to make sure everyone was aware of what happened instead of a lot of speculation.”
Jackson confirmed all students in attendance during last period on Monday received a letter regarding the incident to take home with them.
"If there were students not in attendance, an announcement is typically made the following afternoon for those students to go to the office to get a letter to take home," he said.