A Metro Vancouver boy claims he was unfairly suspended from school for standing up to his little sister’s bully earlier this month.
The series of events began Friday, June 14.
Coquitlam, B.C. father Kelly Wayne went to pick up his 11-year-old daughter from Montgomery Middle School, and said he found Rhianna in tears.
"She said, 'A kid at school pushed me, and he wants to fight me.' So I turned around and said, 'What's going on?'" Kelly recounted to CTV News 10 days later.
Kelly said he called the school principal to arrange a meeting with the alleged bully and his parents – but it never happened. He said he later found out the boy Rhianna said pushed her wasn't punished by the school.
"This is a bully. A boy that pushed my girl and wants to fight. This needs action now," Kelly said.
According to Kelly, when Rhianna returned to school the following Monday (June 17) and saw that the bully was still in class, her brother, Brennen, decided to take the matter into his own hands.
He told CTV News, "I just wanted the bullying to stop."
So, he says, he confronted the bully with a group of his friends, telling him: “If you want to fight somebody, fight me. You can’t go around pushing my sister.”
“I’m very proud of Brennen and the way he reacted to this,” Kelly said of his son’s efforts.
“I’m glad something was done.”
Kelly said Rhianna is back in school, feeling better than before, with her classmates' and teacher’s support and her brother behind her back. He says the bullying has stopped since Brennen stepped in.
Brennan insists he didn't swear or touch the other boy, but he was punished for his actions, handed a one-day suspension over the incident.
The suspension was supposed to happen on Wednesday, a day before the school year ends, but Kelly has appealed the suspension to the school board and is waiting to hear back.
The Coquitlam school board declined an interview but provided an emailed statement to CTV.
“Unfortunately, there are times when conflicts involving students do arise,” a School District 43 spokesperson wrote.
The district would not say how Brennen's actions were grounds for suspension, stating, “specific details around this incident will not be provided in the interests of student privacy."
However, it added, "what can be shared is that school and district staff did follow-up with those involved and review the situation. While all parties involved may not be satisfied with the result, the situation was addressed."
The district said it is committed to providing a safe environment for students.