MONTREAL – A private Montreal elementary school is moving to quell public fears following media reports about Karla Homolka doing some volunteer work there.
The school, which is operated by the Seventh-day Adventist Church, says it won’t allow anyone with a criminal record to volunteer in any capacity on school grounds.
The church issued a brief statement Thursday that didn’t mention Homolka by name, but said it has “heard and listened to the concerns of parents and members of the community uncomfortable with recent reports in the media.”
Local media captured images of Homolka using a purse to hide her face Wednesday morning as she dropped off her children outside the school in Montreal’s Notre-Dame-de-Grace neighbourhood.
On Tuesday, City News reported that Homolka had occasionally volunteered at the school, including supervising a field trip and bringing her dog into the classroom to interact with children.
A spokesman for the church told the TV station earlier this week that Homolka was not a regular volunteer and was not allowed to be alone with the children.
Thursday’s statement said the church would have no further comment.
Homolka and ex-husband Paul Bernardo were convicted of crimes related to the rape and murder of two schoolgirls, Kristen French and Leslie Mahaffy.
Homolka struck a deal with prosecutors where she served 12 years in prison for manslaughter while Bernardo was convicted of murder and is serving a life sentence.
Homolka was released in 2005 after serving her full sentence and has since settled in Quebec.
Tim Danson, a lawyer who represents the French and Mahaffy families, said Wednesday it was a “kick in the gut” for the families to hear reports of Homolka seemingly living a normal life with her husband and children.
Danson also said he’s convinced Homolka was never rehabilitated and shouldn’t be allowed to work with children.