SD 60 investigating allegations of students being 'assaulted sexually' by fellow elementary students

CM Finch Elementary on May 31.

The details of this story could be disturbing to some readers.

School District 60 Peace River North has launched an investigation into allegations of children being assaulted sexually by fellow students at CM Finch Elementary in Fort St. John.

A parent of a child at the elementary school is angry about what he says are ongoing sexual assaults. The dad, who does not want to be named to protect the identity of his child, says two students at the school have put their hands down the pants of at least four other classmates and grabbed their private parts.

He says parents have taken their concerns to the principal Troy Lang and asked him to do more to stop it from happening again. Lang has declined our requests for comment.

The dad then took his concerns to the Fort St. John RCMP, who say the power to intervene lies mainly with schools. That's because the criminal code usually doesn't apply to children under the age of 12.

Fort St. John RCMP Media Relations Officer Cst. Chad Neustaeter said: "Usually in a case like that police will be called. They can go talk to the schools, they can talk to the children and the parents that are involved. Most likely it will be referred to the schools who have the authority in that situation to be able to deal with it ."

CJDC-TV reached out to School District 60. Superintendent Stephen Petrucci said it's important to understand the matter is under investigation while they look into whether the allegations are true. 

We asked Petrucci what he is doing specifically to address the concern of parents. He would not answer direct questions; instead the superintendent issued a general statement.

It reads: "The District is dealing with a behavior incident involving students at one of our elementary schools." It goes on to say: "All matters of safety and discipline are taken seriously and investigated with due process."

The parent says the principal has offered to increase supervision of the two students who are facing allegations, and that counselling is also being offered.

As for the police, they say it's a fine line about what constitutes sexual assault between young children.

"This is something that as children develop, as children become more of who they are, things that they're exploring. It includes relationships. It includes their sexuality and this is not something that's just isolated to just one school. It's something that every police jurisdiction hears about and is dealing with," Neustaeter said.  

The RCMP reminded all parents of the importance of paying attention to what is going on in children's lives. Mounties also say to be aware of any changes in a child's behaviour and to ask questions about what is happening at school.