December 7, 2018 11:14 am

‘Children will be eaten’ sign ignites controversy in Louis Riel School Division

The offending sign.

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A Winnipeg business owner has apologized for a tongue-in-cheek sign that he said appears to have been taken the wrong way by some parents.

Jean-Pierre Parenty said the sign – which read “This is not a drop-off zone. Children left here will be eaten” – was intended to keep kids at next-door Marion School off his property, but some aren’t seeing the humour.

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“It’s about trespassing on my property, and most importantly, it’s for the safety of the kids. We see the kids are being endangered by this practice,” said Parenty Thursday.

“To the school division, I want to apologize that I may have offended anybody. To the one parent that complained, I’m sorry.

“I apologize to her, and I offer that I will personally pay for any counselling she needs to get over this.”

The Louis Riel School Division has been working with Parenty and concerned parents to resolve the matter, said assistant superintendent Marlene Murray.

“We were concerned about the message it was relaying. It was causing concern for parents,” said Murray.

“Anything that implies things that may be unsafe is something we would work quickly to rectify, as we did.”

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Murray said discussions have been positive, and that a solution is in the works that will respect Parenty’s business and assuage the concerns of parents.

“We wanted to engage in some problem-solving in regards with what prompted the business owner to put the sign up,” she said.

“We’re working with all parties, including staff, parents and the community to ensure that we have positive, strength-based messages in the community and within the school.”

Parenty said he’s ordered a replacement sign.

“We will put up another sign that will hopefully not offend anybody, except of course if they have a phobia of tow trucks.”

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