Skip to main content

'You’re supposed to be guiding them': Mom worried for son after alleged knife incident at Halifax school

Tamara Beazley says her son Avery McLeod has experienced ongoing bullying and intimidation at Citadel High School in Halifax. Tamara Beazley says her son Avery McLeod has experienced ongoing bullying and intimidation at Citadel High School in Halifax.

The mother of a 15-year-old student who was the victim of an alleged knife incident at Citadel High School in Halifax is speaking out in hopes it will prompt stronger penalties against other students and make the school safer.

Tamara Beazley says her son Avery McLeod has experienced ongoing bullying and intimidation and the school administration is not doing enough to keep the situation from escalating.

“I had to take two weeks off from work to take him to and from school because they’re waiting for him when they arrive and they’re waiting for him after school. It’s every day,” says Beazley.

On Sept. 22 during lunchtime, McLeod says he went out one of the school’s south-side entrances when two older students surrounded him. McLeod alleges both had knives and asked if he was going to fight another student.

“I didn’t know who they were talking about but because I said ‘no,’ they both pulled knives out. One was behind me and the other one was in front. They were just waving [the knives] around and opening and closing them, telling me I should fight this person,” says McLeod.

Both McLeod and Beazley told the school what happened, but claim the principal did not treat it seriously.

“The principal said, ‘I’m tired of this nonsense, I don’t want to hear about this every day. You’re all young adults, you should be acting as such.’ He said this to me with my son standing there. I said, ‘They’re not young adults and you’re supposed to be guiding them and protecting them while they’re at school,’” says Beazley.

Beazley says she asked if the incident was caught on the school’s cameras, but staff informed her that it happened just out of the camera’s view.

“So basically it was Avery’s word against their word,” she adds.

“I was nervous and scared that there was a chance they were going to stab me at any moment. [The school staff] is not treating this as important,” says McLeod.

Beazley also says she caught on video a student near the front doors of the high school putting his hood up and throwing a piece of wooden debris at their vehicle after picking her son up from school.

“I went into the school and said this just happened outside and the principal said, ‘That’s not my problem, it’s a police matter, call them,’ and he told me to leave the school,” says Beazley.

Joe Morrison, the principal at Citadel High School, released the following statement to CTV News:

“While I would never comment publicly about a student or their family, I assure you that any concern that is brought to my attention is addressed with care and compassion,” said Morrison in an email.

“The well-being and success of every student that comes through the doors of Citadel High will always be my highest priority.”

Beazley says she made a report with the Halifax Regional Police about the knife incident and the alleged vandalism of her vehicle. She says police told her they could not investigate the knife incident since it was not caught on camera. She has yet to hear back from police about her vehicle.

Beazley states the school has had numerous meetings with her and her son. In the interest of her son’s safety, she says the school has suggested to move him to a different school or keep him inside during the lunch hour.

Beazley says McLeod does not want to change schools and the school has done very little to deter the students involved.

“These kids are free to come and go and live their lives and have fun with their friends but [my son] has to stay inside the school?”

On Oct. 13, while walking with his older cousin to Park Lane Mall after school, McLeod alleges the same group of students who have been harassing him followed and attempted to surround them in the mall.

“Four students followed us from behind and the rest of the students ran under the second floor and cut us off in front. They were all just yelling and putting their hoods up. Security was standing at the door and not letting anybody in,” says McLeod, adding Halifax Regional Police was called to the mall.

Deborah Waines-Bauer, the acting communications officer of the Halifax Regional Centre for Education (HRCE), could not confirm any of the incidents or if the students involved have faced any penalties because of the privacy of its students.

“HRCE is committed to ensuring safe, positive and inclusive learning environments for all students and staff. I can assure you that those who engage in racist behaviour and bullying, endanger the well-being of others, damage property or significantly disrupt the learning environment receive immediate and appropriate consequences for their actions," said Waines-Bauer.

"The nature of these consequences is not shared publicly due to privacy. When necessary, we involve our police partners. When harm is done, we know it is important to educate those involved and to repair and re-store relationships."

Const. Nicolas Gagnon with the Halifax Regional Police said it is conducting a number of investigations in relation to the incidents at school.

“We cannot go into specific details at this time. What I can say is that we are working closely with school officials and the involved parties to address the matter,” added Gagnon.

“I’m stressed out. Every day it’s something and I don’t know how I can help him if the school or the police or the school board is not going to help us," says Beazley. "He wants to learn. He is doing exceptional in school and he wants to be there and I just feel like they’re not supporting us." Top Stories


BREAKING Murder charge laid in killing of B.C. Mountie

The day after an RCMP officer was killed and two others were injured while executing a search warrant in Coquitlam, B.C., charges of murder and attempted murder have been laid.

Ford offers Unifor wage increases up to 25 per cent

Ford Motor has offered Canadian union Unifor wage increases of up to 25 per cent in its tentative agreement, the union said on Saturday. The agreement provides a 10 per cent wage increase for the first year followed by increases of two per cent and three per cent through the second and third year and a $10,000 productivity and quality bonus to all employees on the active roll of the company, Unifor said.

Stay Connected