13-year-old Briar MacLean stepped in between an assailant, whose name has not been released, who was brandishing a knife while attacking another student. MacLean pushed the attacker away, and the bully was subdued.
MacLean was thanked by the victim; the young man then went about his day at school. However, several periods later, according to both Briar and the school, he "got called to the office and... wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day.” He received the equivalent of in-school suspension.
The reason? A teacher had seen what MacLean had done, told the principal, who then phoned the police... on Briar. The police then searched the young man's locker and he was asked for a statement.
Briar's mother, Leah O’Donnell, recalled asking the teacher who reported her son about the incident: “I asked: ‘In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?’ She said yes, but that’s beside the point. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”
“He stuck up for himself with a bully one time and they actually gave him heck for that, too. He had a friend stick up for him in that situation and I’m taking the two of them to Disneyland in two weeks. Because if you stick up for my kid, I’m going to treat you right.”More from the National Post:
“What are they teaching them? That when you go out into the workforce and someone is not being very nice to you, you have to tattle to your boss? You’re not going to get promoted that way,” she said.Save a life: get punished.
Most of the time bullies back down when confronted, she added.
“What are we going to do if there are no heroes in the world? There would be no police, no fire, no armed forces. If a guy gets mugged on the street, everyone is going to run away and be scared or cower in the corner. It’s not right.”
The Calgary Board of Education did not respond to a request for comment.