The mother of a bullied teen in Glace Bay, N.S., has settled a human rights complaint she brought against the regional education centre over its handling of the incident.
Brett McEachern, who has previously gone by Brett Corbett, was only 14 years old when, on Nov. 7, 2018, he was dared by his classmates at Glace Bay High School to stand in the shallow water of a stream near the school.
McEachern, who has cerebral palsy, was then walked on by classmates as he lay face down in the water.
Video of the incident was widely shared on Facebook, showing McEachern standing in a stream while people watched and laughed. The video then cuts to McEachern lying face first in the water. A girl then jumps across the stream and uses the teen as a human bridge. It’s followed by more laughter.
McEachern’s mother, Terri McEachern, told Global News at the time that it was “devastating and heartbreaking” to see her child in a position where she couldn’t help.
She told Global News that she had reached out to the school but had not been given any assurance that the matter was being dealt with. Terri McEachern filed a complaint with the province’s Human Rights Commission soon afterwards.
The Human Rights Commission worked with the McEachern family and the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education through a “restorative conference” to assist in reaching an understanding of the issues and, eventually, a settlement.
Details of the settlement agreement will not be made public.
“We would like to take this opportunity to recognize both Brett and our staff at Glace Bay High for their participation in this process,” said Michelle MacLeod, spokesperson for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education, in a press release.
“The determined focus of both Brett and the school was to ensure Brett felt safe and welcome in the school community.”
The McEarchen family is pleased with the settlement and is quoted in the press release as saying they “look forward to putting this matter behind us.”
—With files from Katie Dangerfield