Few things worry a parent more than finding out their child is being bullied, and that the bully is armed.
Hossein Shekari and his wife have two kids, including an eight-year-old daughter, who attend Père-Vimont elementary school in Laval.
Shekari told Global News that his mother-in-law picked his children up at school last Thursday and “one of the kids from the school was coming out and someone said ‘this kid has a knife in his backpack,'” Shekari said.
It was his daughter’s classmate.
Shekari alleges the child was brought to the principal’s office to have the matter dealt with. That night, he and his wife attended a parent-teacher meeting and asked the boy’s teacher to check his locker, where they claim they saw a kitchen knife.
“Her jaw just dropped, that there was such a thing in a locker,” he said. “She cried because I think it was the shock of how could an eight-year-old bring a knife in school.”
When Shekari asked the teacher why the knife was in the child’s locker after it had been confiscated by the principal earlier that afternoon, that’s when he says he got a second shock.
He alleges “she had no clue what had happened right after school.”
Later, Shekari’s wife emailed the principal with a picture they had taken of the knife, asking why it was in the child’s locker after it had supposedly been confiscated.
He says that she replied, “‘that’s not the same knife — that’s another knife.’ That’s when the hair on my arm stood up, that how come this kid, now has two knives.”
WATCH: A Laval family is worried about bullying in their child’s school and fear for the children’s safety after at least two knives were confiscated from a Grade 3 student. As Global’s Phil Carpenter reports, one of their biggest concerns is how fast the school will be able to respond.
Shekari says the next day, the principal told them the matter is being dealt with, but says she gave no details.
The Laval School Board has confirmed to Global News that the child was found in possession of two knives.
The child has been suspended indefinitely, pending an ongoing investigation into the matter. School board spokesperson Jean-Pierre Archambault says they are working with the family, police and social service agencies to determine the best way to proceed with the matter.
Maria Luisa Guarnieri is a kindergarten teacher who also has children attending the school. She is concerned and thinks the boy may need help.
“Every school has what we call child care workers or specialized technicians that are there to help children who need extra guidance, extra support,” she explained.
She thinks that at the very least the child should see a psychologist.
According to Shekari, his daughter has been bullied four times so far, including by the boy with the knife.
“She sleeps in our bed now,” he said. “She’s terrified.”
Both parents say that until they are sure the problem has been dealt with, they will not be sending their daughter to school.
“I also told the principal, ‘when are you gonna react, when it’s too late?’ ” he exclaimed. “And I told her, when somebody gets stabbed, you can’t go back.”