Controversy is again swirling around John Barsby Community School, where a 15 year old boy was beaten in a school hallway June 3rd.
RCMP are recommending charges against two senior students for the assault that was caught on camera, but the family of that beating victim was shocked to find out one of the accused was still allowed to party at prom this past weekend.
The 2016 graduating class of Nanaimo’s John Barsby School celebrated its prom Saturday night, but Nanaimo grandmother Gail Pettinger says one guest never should have been allowed to be there.
“It’s horrible. Why should this guy get to his prom and (my grandson) is scared to come out of his room. He’s depressed. It’s horrible,” says Pettinger.
Pettinger is the grandmother of the 15 year old being assaulted in a video captured inside John Barsby June 3rd. Her grandson required treatment in hospital for his injuries. RCMP are recommending charges of assault against two senior students, and both suspects have been pulled from school pending investigations. But this past weekend, the grade 12 student arrested in the incident was allowed to attend prom festivities with his classmates. A week after the attack in the high school hallway.
“It’s okay to bully obviously. It’s okay to beat somebody down,” says Pettinger.
But the Nanaimo-Ladysmith School District says it wasn’t their decision. Supt. John Blain, stating to CHEK News:
“The prom event is organized entirely by parent volunteers and is not a school district sanctioned event. While the district has no influence on who attends, it is important to know that in circumstances like this, district representatives speak with the prom organizers sharing its view over student attendance,” says Blain.
“This is saying that it’s okay to beat people up and go to prom. This is devastating to the whole family,” says Gail Pettinger.
The victim is now finishing out his school year from home and is planning to attend a different high school next year. CHEK News has learned the Grade 12 student at the centre of this case will not be allowed to accept his diploma with his graduating class.