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Colonel Gray high school seeing increase in fights, online bullying

FILE PHOTO: Const. Tim Keizer, a resource officer at Colonel Gray high school.
FILE PHOTO: Const. Tim Keizer, a resource officer at Colonel Gray high school. - ©The Guardian

A Charlottetown high school is taking action to confront an increase in physical altercations arising from social media bullying.

“It’s definitely put us on notice,’’ says Const. Tim Keizer, a resource officer at Colonel Gray.

Keizer says more disturbances are occurring at the high school due to conflicts originating on social media.

He describes some of the resulting altercations as “not minor in nature at all”.

He notes Colonel Gray has a strict hands-off policy.

“You are not to apply any type of force,’’ he says.

“The school is a safe environment – that is the goal.’’

Crown Attorney Cindy Wedge was invited to speak to students at Colonel Gray Monday to discuss different aspects of assault, including legal consequences.

Keizer says the presentation appeared to hit the mark.

Students this week have been talking to him and other staff about incidents of bullying at the school.

He adds some students, as a result of Wedge’s presentation, are planning to put together an awareness film that addresses bullying.

“Kudos to the students of Colonel Gray for hearing the message and wanting to be part of the solution,’’ says Keizer.

“The way they are responding is just fantastic really.’’

Keizer says the million-dollar question is just how to hold people accountable for social media bullying.

He adds common assaults are on the rise in the city with Charlottetown Police responding to 250-plus assault calls in 2016 but more than 300 this year.

“Stuff that happens in the community usually makes its way into the school,’’ he says.

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