Mom frustrated after son attacked at Oliver school

Violent attack on teen

Casey Richardson

Warning: The video above contains images that may disturb some viewers.

An Oliver mother is hoping to see changes made to how schools handle bullying, after her son was allegedly attacked by two students at the Southern Okanagan Secondary School.

Leah Moen got a call from her 16-year-old son on Oct. 5 as he was heading to the hospital with a friend after being hit repeatedly by two boys on school property.

“It was worse than what I expected. He told me they knocked a tooth out when he was talking to me on the phone….So I thought maybe he was going to come in holding a tooth,” she explained.

Instead, Moen found her son with welts and bruises on the side of his head, one tooth that had gone directly through his lip and another tooth that dislodged from the gum and tore through the back of his mouth.

“[I thought] ‘Wow, they hit him really hard’. Like they hit him really, really hard,” Moen said.

Moen explained that her understanding is her son was in a verbal confrontation with two male students over some comments on a social media post. When the conversation got heated, the two allegedly shoved her son into the side of a car.

After the incident, Moen said she got one message from the school regarding the incident.

She said she asked school administrators to go on the record with her to discuss the incident, but claimed they refused to be recorded. She said that to her knowledge the two students and her son were all suspended but have now returned to school.

“The school had planned to put [my son] directly back into classes with these two boys. I went ‘No, that's not happening.’ He doesn't feel safe in a class with these two boys, especially in a shop or metal works class, which was the two classes he had with them.”

Luckily, the family connected with Integra Tire and they took her son on as an apprentice.

“So instead of doing shop class and metalwork at school, he's learning at a shop, his mechanics and he's getting his apprenticeship. So this is a huge silver lining to all of this, him being directed that way,” Moen added.

“But I still feel that these kids are back in school, back like nothing. And my son is still leery of walking downtown. He's still nervous to be around at lunchtime, I pick him up and drop him off when he's got to be at school and when he's done because he doesn't want to hang around there.”

Under the school’s rules and policies, it states that the “Okanagan Similkameen School District is committed to providing safe and caring environments in which all learners can achieve academic excellence, personal growth and responsible citizenship. Safe and caring school environments are free from acts of: bullying, harassment, threat and intimidation,” among others.

School District 53 Superintendent of Schools Bev Young stated that the matter is a police investigation so the school is in touch with the RCMP following their investigation.

“Police were notified of an incident that had occurred on Oct. 5 at SOSS. The matter is under investigation,” Oliver RCMP Sgt. Don Wrigglesworth commented over email.

SOSS administrators could not be reached for contact.

Moen is hoping legal action will be taken.

“We're hoping that between the RCMP and Crown Counsel, that proper and appropriate charges will be laid and the boys will be held accountable," Moen said.

“I just thought I wanted to shed a little more light on these kinds of things. If there's other parents out there that have had negative situations, don't hold it back. If your kids are being bullied at school, don't tell them to toughen up because these patterns need to be recorded by the teachers, by the principal. We need to have recorded documentation of kids being bullies, being aggressive, being cruel, in order to have them removed from the situation later.”

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