Several Manitoulin Secondary students injured; teen charged with assault, weapons offences

Several students at Manitoulin Second School were injured Tuesday afternoon and a 16-year-old is facing charges, Ontario Provincial Police said in a news release Wednesday.

The students received non-life threating injuries, police said, without saying what the weapon was or the nature of the injuries.

"The investigation is still being conducted and at this time, one person, 16 years of age, from M'Chigeeng First Nation, has been arrested and charged," the release said.

The teen is charged with assault causing bodily harm, assault with a weapon and possessing a weapon for a dangerous purpose. The accused was released on an undertaking and is scheduled to appear at the Ontario Court of Justice in October in Gore Bay.

"The Manitoulin OPP Crime Unit, in conjunction with the UCCM crime unit, have undertaken a criminal investigation as a result of this incident, and wish to inform the community members that there is no public safety concerns," police said.

Few details about the incident are known, but Rainbow District School Board said a conflict between students occurred at Manitoulin Secondary School in M'Chigeeng at dismissal Tuesday afternoon and school administration acted quickly to de-escalate the situation.

"The incident remains under active investigation by the Ontario Provincial Police in collaboration with the UCCM Anishinaabe Police Service," the school board said in a news release Wednesday morning.

Members of the Mnidoo Mnising Crisis Response Team, the school board's mental health team and administrators, and local First Nations representatives will be at the school Wednesday to offer support to students along with both provincial and First Nation police.

"Our focus is on assisting with the investigation, supporting our staff and students, and working with our community partners to move forward with a focus on safety and continued collaboration," said Bruce Bourget, the board's director of education.

"We are working with all of our partners on Manitoulin Island to support our students and staff and ensure their overall well-being. When an incident occurs, it affects everyone and we come together as a school community to support each other."

Anyone with information or video in relation to the incident is asked to contact the OPP at 1-888-310-1122. Should you wish to remain anonymous, call Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-8477 (TIPS) or submit information online at www.ontariocrimestoppers.ca where you may be eligible to receive a cash reward of up to $2,000.

-- Files from Darren MacDonald