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School board hears parent concerns after assault allegations at Kitchener school


A meeting was held Monday to address concerns at Alpine Public School in Kitchener.

Earlier this month, the Waterloo Regional Police Service announced a woman had been charged with two counts of assault following an investigation into allegations that a teacher used tape on two students in class as a form of discipline.

The meeting was between the Waterloo Region District School Board and the Coalition of Muslim Women.

The Coalition says they've heard from many concerned parents about the situation and how it's being handled.

"I think as a parent we should have seen a lot more done," says parent Crystal Aldington. "We weren't really told by anybody besides the news. We didn't get any kind of newsletter, anything."

"I would have liked to know more since [my daughter] just started going to the school," says parent Grant Vines. "She likes going to the school so far, and I'd like it to stay that way."

The Coalition of Muslim Women says they too have heard from parents through their hate reporting systems.

So many reached out that last Monday the organization put together a meeting to connect with them all.

Fauzia Mazhar, the Executive Director for the Coalition of Muslim Women, says there were concerns about children's safety, but parents were also upset about the lack of communication about what happened and what comes next.

"How is this going to be handled by the schools in terms of making sure that there are not more victims – direct or indirect – within the school system? Especially when we are talking about children of such tender age."

Eusis Dougan-McKenzie, a spokesperson for the Waterloo Region District School Board, sent CTV News the following statement:

"We are hearing from various community members including from Indigenous, Black and racialized families who are concerned about the safety of their children. These families are calling on the board to maintain its equity and social justice commitments. The Coalition of Muslim Women is one of the groups that we heard from and we spoke with them today. The Waterloo District School Board is in the process of setting up a session that brings the community together to hear from caregivers and families. The feedback will be aggregated to inform next steps and maintain accountability as we move forward to ensure that we address these concerns in a systemic way. We have been reaching out to caregivers and community members directly, to explain the process and help ensure community members better understand why we can't say more than we have. As we organize community circles we will make every effort to ensure people feel safe and that they can speak freely. These meetings will be closed to the media."

Mazhar says her organization emphasized the importance of communication when they spoke with the board.

"Being able to communicate in a way that can provide answers without breaching any sort of privacy and confidentiality of individuals involved in that, that would be important."

The teacher facing the assault charges is due in court on Dec. 8 and has been assigned to work at home. Top Stories

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