By Charlie Senack, Barrhaven Independent
There was a heavy police presence outside Longfields High School this afternoon after an incident took place, leaving a teenage boy with serious injuries.
The school went into secure school mode Tuesday afternoon, after an altercation took place at around 12:45 pm.
Secure school means while functions in class can continue, nobody can leave the room.
In an email sent to parents around 2:20 pm, Principal Mark Harris said police were on scene and investigating.
“Emergency responders were called to the school in response to an altercation onsite,” he wrote. “The Ottawa Police Service is onsite and providing support. An investigation is currently underway. The school has been in contact with the family of the student directly affected. Students and staff are safe in their classrooms and learning is continuing.“
In a statement sent to the Barrhaven Independent, Ottawa Police said a person was treated for minor injuries and sent to hospital.
“Frontline officers attended and secured the premises while Ottawa paramedics treated one person,” they said. “The person was transported to hospital with minor injuries. The incident is being investigated and no further details are available at this time.”
Ottawa Paramedics said the teenager was assaulted with a weapon and seemed to hint the situation was more serious than initially reported. They said the teen was in serious but stable condition, but his injuries were not life-threatening.
Students at Longfields were dismissed shortly before 3:00 pm.
No details have been provided about the suspect. Police were seen carrying evidence bags out of the school Tuesday afternoon.
Calls To Bring Police Presence Back Into Schools
After a year of debate and public consultation, the Ottawa Carleton District School Board cut ties with having a police presence in schools, last June.
The board voted to “immediately and completely” end the Student Resource Officer (SRO) program, after many said the relationship between officers and some students and families became strained.
The report said some students and families became fearful, and how “each consultation highlighted vivid examples where this policy has worsened the relationships of various stakeholders — students, parents, and members of the wider community — with the police.”
Barrhaven/Knoxdale-Merivale Trustee Donna Blackburn was the only trustee to vote against the motion, and after a number of incidents at Longfields and other schools, will be calling for its return.
“I have every intention of bringing forward a motion for the Director of Education to begin negotiations with the Ottawa Police Services to negotiate a program similar to the SRO program,” Blackburn told the Barrhaven Independent. “I feel that our school administrations need a dedicated point person within the Ottawa Police Service who they can rely on for support. In addition, I want a return to the proactive work that school resource officers did in the prevention of criminal activity in our schools.”