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Rockwood, Ont. elementary school issues letter addressing safety concerns for students during washroom visits

A Rockwood, Ont. elementary school has sent a letter to parents asking them to reach out to family and children’s services if their child “experienced anything inappropriate” in relation to incidents alleged to have happened during visits to the washroom.

The letter, sent by the school’s principal to the Harris Mill Public School community, and obtained by CTV News Kitchener reads: “I am writing to inform you that the school has been made aware of conversations in the broader community related to safety concerns for students during visits to the washroom.”

The school is a part of the Upper Grand District School Board and serves around 300 students from junior kindergarten to Grade 5.

“We know and understand that these conversations raise significant concerns for parents and open the door to lots of questions and speculation. I can assure you that the staff at Harris Mill have taken these concerns very seriously and have followed all procedures, including reporting to family and children's services and working with parents of any students involved,” the letter reads.

It was not immediately clear what the safety concerns were, or how many families were contacted by the school.

Some parents of children at Harris Mill Public School, who did not want to be identified, told CTV News Kitchener the alleged incidents happened in late January and they are disappointed with how the school has handled the situation.

The parents said they wished the school had notified all parents earlier, so appropriate conversations could be had with their children.

They said parents have the right to be aware of potential “safety concerns.”

“This should have been escalated immediately,” one said.

Another felt “disgusted,” and that the school is “not doing enough.”

The letter to parents encouraged them to speak with their children.

“If you have any concerns that your child may have experienced anything inappropriate you are encouraged to reach out to Family and Child Services. When questions arise about student safety, it also provides an opportunity to review our current procedures, which I can assure you is also happening,” reads the letter.

The letter ends by saying the school will continue to monitor its plans to ensure student safety and support all students.

CTV News Kitchener reached out to the school board for more information but have not yet received a response.

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