Edmonton police are investigating after a student at J. Percy Page High School in Mill Woods was assaulted on school grounds this week.
In a video posted to social media, a student is seen laying on the ground being punched and kicked during the lunch hour on Wednesday, Nov. 18.
Edmonton police confirmed to Global News that officers are investigating and the incident involved a Grade 10 student around 12:15 p.m. Police believe three young male adults were allegedly taunting kids from a red Ford truck before the assault, a spokesperson said Saturday.
The student sustained serious injuries that required medical attention, according to police.
Sgt. Michael Elliott, the president of the Edmonton Police Association, shared the video after it was posted on Twitter.
“I have no idea why this would occur, but it’s disgusting actually to be quite honest,” Elliott said Saturday. “Knowing that this could happen and there’s no one available to look after them —colleagues, teachers, principals – and we know teachers can’t have eyes everywhere.”
A friend of the student who was assaulted spoke to Global News anonymously and said that the group had been circling the school parking lot and yelling at the students before the incident happened.
“They started to unroll their windows, and started to say to us, ‘Oh, come over to the truck, you’re not tough, fight us,’ so we just laughed and walked away, and thought it was a joke,” the Grade 10 boy said Saturday.
The student told Global News most of his friends were able to run away but their one friend was grabbed by the men.
“[My friend] was just completely beat up. His face was all bloody and he just looked traumatized.”
Through the video, laughing at be heard as the student is assaulted. Trisha Estabrooks, Edmonton Public School Board chair, responded to the video and said violence is not tolerated.
In a statement sent to Global News, the Edmonton Public School Division said the school “immediately” contacted the Edmonton Police Service following the incident.
“We know this incident is upsetting and concerning for families,” the EPSD statement said. “All students and staff have a right to feel safe when they are travelling to and from school. We are taking the incident very seriously and the school is working to support their community.
“The school has increased outside supervision during break times and will continue to work with the Edmonton Police Service as they continue their investigation.”
Edmonton Public paused its School Resource Officer program this school year, replacing it with a Youth Enhanced Deployment model.
The YED model is in effect only for the 2020-21 school year, but the division said plans for the 2021-22 school year will be based on the review of the School Resource Officer program.
At the time the change was announced in September, Edmonton police called the move “disappointing.”
Elliot said he believes this incident showcases why the officers are needed.
“Teachers are reaching out to us in private saying they are at their wits end because, as you know COVID is very stressful, and they feel some students are uncontrollable and they don’t know what to do and wish SRO’s were back there,” Elliot said.
–With files from Nicole Stillger, Global News