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2 staff members, student suspect injured in stabbing at Halifax-area high school

Two staff members and a student -- who is also the suspect -- have been injured in a stabbing at a high school in Bedford, N.S., according to the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE).

"We do know that there was an incident with a student who did have a weapon. Two of our staff members were injured and taken to hospital," says Lindsey Bunin, communications officer for HRCE.

Halifax Regional Police responded to Charles P. Allen High School around 9:20 a.m. Monday.

When officers arrived, police say they found three people who had been stabbed.

Police say a youth who is a student at the school was taken into custody around 9:30 a.m.

Bunin confirmed the student who was taken into custody was among the three people injured.

She says all three injured individuals, whose identities have not been released, were taken to hospital. She could not provide details on the extent of their injuries.

Bunin says the suspect was in the school office at the time of the incident due to a "concern with the student."

"It was all very quick and very immediate, so as soon as it was realized there was a violent incident taking place, there was an announcement made, which is 'hold-and-secure,' which means the students are to stay in place in their classrooms," she said. 

Bunin says the student left the building, but that police were on scene "almost immediately." 

SCHOOL CLOSED FOR THE DAY

Charles P. Allen High School was placed under a hold-and-secure order while police responded to the scene Monday morning.

One student told reporters it was about 30 minutes into the first period when a call for a hold-and-secure came over the school’s intercom.

“We look out, a ton of cop cars,” the student said. “It’s wild to think about that this could have been one of us or something else."

Some parents who arrived before students were dismissed said they were frustrated over the lack of details provided by the school.

"None of this makes sense. They're not giving us any answers or anything," said parent Gail Burris.

"All they're saying is, 'They're safe in their classrooms.' They need to go home and be safe with their parents."

"I just got a phone call from my daughter saying that they were on lockdown and they still needed to be picked up," said parent Jessica Young. "And that they still haven't been dismissed but here was a stabbing and there was a lot of blood."

A video circulating online appears to show a suspect surrendering to police near the school.

"I saw just a video of him, kind of put his hands up and went down on his knees and got arrested. He kind of gave up I think after the cops showed up," said Luke Campbell, a student at Charles P. Allen High School.

"He was yelling things like, 'My life doesn't matter. Your life doesn't matter,' and yelling how diplomas don't mean anything," said student Dax Thompson.

The Halifax Regional Centre for Education said students were dismissed early and the school would remain closed for the day.

Police say they searched the building and worked with school officials to safely release students and staff from the property.

Officers are expected to remain on scene for most of the day as they continue their investigation.

Police say there is no threat to public safety, but they are asking people to avoid the area.

According to Bunin, about 1,700 students attend Charles P. Allen High School.

An email sent to families by the high school's principal Monday evening says classes will resume Tuesday at 12:45 p.m. for a "mini day."

Buses will run on a three-hour delay for pick up. Dismissal will go ahead as scheduled.

"School psychologists, school social workers and school counsellors will be available at the school over the coming days to provide individual and small group supports to students who would like to connect with them," said Stephanie Bird.

"We know from past experiences and the advice of experts that returning to the routine of school is in the best interest of our students. It provides a safe space for students to access supports related to their emotional well-being and their academic achievement."

EDUCATION MINISTER REACTS

On Monday evening, Nova Scotia's minister of education and early childhood development, Becky Druhan, released a statement calling the incident "very troubling."

"My heart goes out to the school community, those physically injured, as well as those who experienced this unfortunate event at school," she said in the statement sent out just before 6 p.m.

"The staff and students at the school should be recognized for their quick actions. They followed their emergency management training (hold-and-secure), ensuring that no one else was injured or more seriously harmed. Thank you, as well, to the many families who remained patient as our team and local police responded."

Druhan says her department will work with the HRCE to ensure the safety protocols in place at the school worked as intended and determine any next steps.

Anyone who requires mental health supports can also contact

  • the provincial Mental Health and Addictions Crisis Line at 1-888-429-8167 or visit their website
  • for children and youth, the Kids Help Phone can be reached at 1-800-668-6868 (toll-free) or text CONNECT to 686868

Correction

This is a corrected article. CTV News initially reported that four people had been stabbed, based on the information provided by police. However, police later issued a correction, stating that three people had been stabbed, not four. The article has been updated to reflect the latest information provided by police.

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