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Mom says 4-year-old needed stitches after classroom incident in Cambridge, Ont.

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Tracy Joyce’s 4-year-old daughter needed three stitches under her right eye after a classroom incident involving another student.

Joyce said she got a call from St. Augustine Catholic School in Cambridge on Jan. 10.

“I was assuming they were going to tell me one of my kids had a runny nose or vomited and needed to be picked up, but they said: ‘One of your kids was involved in an incident. We’re pretty sure she needs medical attention. You need to come get her,’” Joyce recalled.

Her daughter said she was eating lunch in her junior kindergarten class, when another student threw a Lego piece at her face.

“Blood everywhere. She was really upset. I think it was traumatic for every kid in that room,” Joyce said.

The 4-year-old was taken to Cambridge Memorial Hospital where she got three stitches and a referral to follow-up with a plastic surgeon.

“It’s so visible. It’s such an in your face reminder of what happened,” Joyce explained.

Photo of Tracy Joyce’s 4-year-old daughter right after the incident and as it began to heal. (Submitted)

She claimed this wasn’t the first incident her daughter – and her twin sister – had with the same student.

“The other child tends to be physical, aggressive, and can be violent,” Joyce said. “November was when the pair of glasses was broken by that student. December was when one of my kids came home with a bite mark on her wrist from the child.”

Confirmation from WCDSB

The Waterloo Catholic District School Board (WCDSB) confirmed to CTV News that they are aware of the incident. They claimed board staff is addressing the concerns and working with those involved.

“While specific details cannot be shared, appropriate actions are being taken,” WCDSB said in a statement.

The board also said they can’t confirm specifics related to disciplinary action taken against students, noting that incidents are dealt with on a case-by-case basis.

The board also linked to their Bullying Prevention and Intervention Policy, where the board denounces bullying in any form.

Too little too late?

After the incident Joyce decided to home school both her daughters for a week, as she claimed the school and the board wasn’t doing enough to resolve the issue.

“I ended up ordering supplies to homeschool them because I didn’t know how long it was going to take for them to do anything.”

Joyce said she was told a safety plan was put in place for the student involved, although that wasn’t shared with her for privacy reasons. She also said an audit was done in the classroom.

“They made some suggestions about what could be removed or changed so that during one of the outbursts there was nothing to pick up and be thrown,” she explained.

Photo of Tracy Joyce’s 4-year-old daughter as her injury began to heal. (Submitted)

Joyce felt it was safe enough for her twins to return to school and is pleased with the measures taken.

But she also felt the changes weren’t done fast enough.

“It’s kind of too little, too late when there was evidence going back to November.”

Joyce is hoping to raise awareness about violence in classrooms and hopes that it doesn’t happen to another student.

“And that the next time another kid doesn’t end up with stitches in their face or doesn’t end up losing an eye.”

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