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Suspensions given to Glace Bay High School students involved in altercation with man

Glace Bay High School is one of seven schools in the Cape Breton Regional Municipality with in-school and after-school nutrition programs, funded through President’s Choice Children’s Charity. Although schools are closed, the charity has released $10 million to its partners in order to find innovative ways to feed hungry children. Sharon Montgomery-Dupe/Cape Breton Post
Eight Glace Bay High School students have been suspended for their part in an altercation with a man on Tuesday. CAPE BRETON POST FILE
GLACE BAY, N.S. —

Eight Glace Bay High School students have been suspended for their part in an altercation with a man on Tuesday.  

Video of the alleged altercation was posted to social media and shows a man being pushed to the ground by a group of teenage boys then punched and kicked many times in the head.

The incident occurred near Glace Bay High School at around 1 p.m. Cape Breton Regional Police received a call from Atlantic Superstore security staff and police confirmed they are investigating.

An interview request was denied by the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education. Instead, they provided a written statement. 

"The incident that took place near Glace Bay High School (Tuesday) at noon is unacceptable and will not be tolerated.  This incident not only impacts the school but also the school community. It is important that both students and the school community feel respected and safe," the statement reads.

"The Cape Breton Regional Police were contacted and are investigating. We cannot comment on specifics because of the ongoing investigation nor can we comment about individuals due to privacy issues. The School Code of Conduct will be followed."

The Cape Breton Post was able to verify the suspensions through family members of the youth involved as well as Glace Bay High students who also spoke with them.

Seven of the eight students were issued 10-day suspensions and one was expelled until next semester. The students were in grades 10, 11 and 12. 

A sibling of at least one youth involved confirmed the validity of the video of the altercation which started making rounds on social media hours after it happened. 

The video starts with the 42-year-old man backing away as he's yelling something at a teenage boy who is approaching him. Both look ready to throw punches. The youth punches the man in the head and a number of other teenage boys jump into the fight. 

The sibling, who was not involved in the incident, said they wished people saw what happened before the video started. 

"I just wish people knew both sides of the story," said the sibling, who isn't being identified because their brothers are youth being investigated for a potential crime. 

According to the sibling, their brothers confirmed the chain of events which were being shared online: a drink can was first thrown at the man, who then threw one or more rocks back in the direction of the teens. A different teen who didn't throw the can felt the rock was aimed at him and he confronted the man, which is where the video starts. 

"He should have acted as the adult he is and not throw rocks at teens who weren't involved with the drink being thrown," said the sibling.

Regional police spokesperson Desiree Magnus told the Cape Breton Post the man was treated by paramedics at the scene. 

The sibling said by the time paramedics arrived the students had been taken back to Glace Bay High School and given their suspensions.

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