The students seen on video assaulting a teen on the grounds of a Surrey high school this week will not face criminal charges, RCMP said Wednesday.
However, those students will be kept away from the school for the rest of the year as they await other disciplinary measures.
Police said they are working with the Surrey School District to investigate the incident, which saw the lone teen threatened and assaulted on Monday in relation to another assault that happened at the same school, Fraser Heights Secondary, on May 31.
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Video of the assault shows a group of teens standing over the victim, who is on his knees and is called a “snitch.” One youth then orders the teen to kiss his shoes, which the victim does before getting kicked in the face.
Surrey RCMP say their investigation showed the teen was assaulted in relation to the incident on May 31.
That day saw a physical confrontation between a group of students over “a personal conflict.” A pellet gun was found in the bushes, which one of the teens is believed to have dropped.
Police said Wednesday all the involved parties in both incidents have been identified, and have agreed along with their parents “to further deal with these matters by way of alternate measures under the Youth and Criminal Justice Act” and youth programs overseen by Surrey RCMP and the Surrey School District.
That restorative justice route was also agreed upon by the family of the victim, RCMP confirmed.
The district has launched disciplinary proceedings that are not expected to wrap up before the end of the school year on June 28.
Additionally, none of the students will return to Fraser Heights for the remainder of the school year. An alternative education program has been put in place for them, police said.
“Our entire school community has been affected and is deeply concerned about the impact of this incident on our student,” Fraser Heights Secondary principal Rick Breen said in a statement from RCMP. “The school has been working with the victim’s family to provide support for the teen going forward.”
The victim’s father, Paul Pedersen, told Global News Wednesday it appears police and the school district are taking the incident seriously, but he had concerns.
“They’ve assured me they’re going to create a safe space for my son to return for the rest of the year, because he’s currently not ready to return to that school environment if there’s still … parties in the attack still attending the school,” he said.
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Pedersen said he’s awaiting to hear from school officials what disciplinary measures those students will face.
While he said he and his family agreed to the restorative justice process, he also said that should not replace potential criminal charges, which the family may still pursue.
He also repeated the offer he made Tuesday to sit down with the accused in a roundtable setting and talk it out.
In the meantime, Pedersen said he and his son are now facing new threats of retaliation since news of the assault broke Tuesday.
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“I’ve received unsettling things on social media from people not involved in the attack … threats of retribution and continued violence,” he said.
“We’re staying vigilant. It’s hard for me to get a decent night’s sleep when it feels like there’s still a threat against my son from some of these people,” Pedersen added.
Police are asking anyone who may have information helpful to the investigation to contact either Surrey RCMP or Crime Stoppers.