PORT HARDY—An alleged sexual assault at Eagle View Elementary school has the mother of the five-year-old victim packing her belongings and moving from the area.
“I’m moving my family so they can attend another school,” said the mother, whose name is being withheld to protect the identity of her child.
School District 85 acknowledged, through a letter sent home to families by Eagle View principal Frank McLean, that RCMP are investigating the incident, which was reported April 24.
But school officials and RCMP both insist no students at the school are in any danger as the investigation continues.
“We’re dealing with elementary school-aged children, and for that reason we do not anticipate the release of public statements,” said Cpl. Darren Lagan, media liaison for the RCMP’s Island District. “At this point, there is no evidence that any students are at risk.”
The mother of the alleged victim remains unconvinced, however, and has gone to the school each day at recess and lunchtime to watch her children.
“There’s no way that I’m going to trust they’re going to look after her properly,” she said. “They said the kids are safe but, realistically, if our kids are safe, this would never have happened.”
On the day of the alleged assault, the victim did not inform adults at the school. Instead, she waited until returning home to inform her mother.
“I’ve been teaching her about this kind of stuff since she was two (years old),” the mother said. “I’ve said, ‘No matter when or where this happens, come and tell me.’ I think she had it in her mind to tell mom, not another adult.”
The mother said she was told of the assault upon her child’s return home, and immediately took her to the RCMP detachment to report the incident. From there, she took the child to hospital.
The RCMP, in turn, then contacted the school to announce it was initiating an investigation.
Some parents have voiced concerns the school district is not dealing strongly enough with the alleged suspect or suspects, but SD85 officials noted they can’t presume guilt without having all the facts.
“We take these allegations very seriously and are cooperating fully with the RCMP while they conduct their investigation,” said Katherine McIntosh, assistant superintendent. “At this point the RCMP have not notified the school district of the results or any identities. Once they do, the school district will have an appropriate response.”
With her daughter’s alleged attacker or attackers still potentially attending school, the mother of the victim was reluctant to send her back to class. But she relented at the child’s urging, she said.
“The only reason I haven’t pulled my kids out is because she loves school,” the mother said. “If I pulled her out, she would think she’s being punished. And she’s the victim here.”