Smithers high school students suspended over pellet gun shooting

A teenager who allegedly shot at his classmates with a BB gun is one of three who have been suspended from Smithers Secondary School.

Smithers RCMP will not pursue charges against a teen who allegedly shot a pellet gun at his classmates.

Smithers RCMP will not pursue charges against a teen who allegedly shot a pellet gun at his classmates.

Criminal charges will not be laid against a Smithers Secondary School student who allegedly shot at his classmates with a pellet gun.

A male suspect in a Dodge van shot at three teenagers as they walked through the Kentucky Fried Chicken parking lot on Highway 16 last Tuesday.

Not long after, the teenagers were targeted again outside the nearby A&W Restaurant, where one of the group was hit in the knee with a pellet but not seriously injured.

The targeted students reported the incidents to the school, whose principal contacted police later that day.

The shooter was allegedly one of four people, including three high school students, in the van.

Smithers RCMP arrested a teenager who allegedly used an Airsoft pistol in the attack, but later decided not to pursue charges.

Staff Sergeant Rob Mitchell said although criminal charges were considered, police obtained victim consent to put the student through the restorative justice process.

That involves bringing together the suspects and victims for a meeting to discuss the incident.

“The victims are allowed to discuss how the incident has affected them,” said Sgt. Mitchell.

“Family members are usually present as well, so they can express their concerns.

“Ultimately it is hoped that the suspects would agree to never participate in this sort of incident again and there is usually a commitment, they are expected to commit to that.”

Sgt. Mitchell said the restorative justice process was a quick and effective resolution that considered the suspect’s young age.

Bulkley Valley School District superintendent Chris van der Mark said the school had employed its harshest penalty against the three students who were allegedly in the vehicle.

All three have been suspended indefinitely, with the date of their return to school to be determined by senior SSS and board office staff.

van der Mark said it was the first time the school has referred a suspension to the board in four years.

“What that speaks of is that we don’t see incidents like this involving the safety of students,” he said.

“At the end of the day the school has determined, in their opinion, the incident jeopardized the safety of others, so that’s the measuring stick.”

van der Mark said expulsion was not an option at SSS but the school could enforce conditions on the students’ return to school.

He said it was too early to say if the students would be subject to any counselling or remediation measures.

“We try really hard to keep students in school, it’s not in anybody’s interest to have kids expelled, that’s why it’s pretty hard to do,” he said.

“At the end of the day we want students to be aware of how their actions impact themselves and, of course, those around them and that we have a responsibility as a community to interact appropriately and pro-socially.”

Details of the incident emerged today, on Pink Shirt Day, which is a Canada-wide anti-bullying initiative.

van der Mark said the school board would need more information to determine whether it was a targeted act of bullying.

“I don’t want to dismiss that it could be and I don’t want to jump to the conclusion that could be.”

 

 

 

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Volunteer Robbie McKnight works the screening table at the Coast Mountain College COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Smithers. (Deb Meissner photo)
UPDATE Smithers clinic expands vaccine eligibility to ages 55+

Community members born in 1966 or earlier can now register and will be notified when they can book

Pembina Prince Rupert Terminal shipped its first vessel full of liquefied petroleum gas on April 9, just less than three years after breaking ground at the re-purposed pulp mill site on Watson Island.
Pembina ships first vessel of LPG out of Prince Rupert

More than $12 million spent to repurpose Watson Island for the LPG export facility

Styrofoam burning at the Woodmere Tree Nursery in Telka created billowing black smoke over Tyhee Lake and resulted in air quality advisory for Bulkley Valley. (Contributed photo)
VIDEO: Telkwa styrofoam fire air quality advisory lifted

A woodpile fire at Woodmere Tree Nursery spread to styrofoam blocks causing air quality concerns

Restaurant patrons enjoy the weather on a patio in Vancouver, B.C., Monday, April 5, 2021. The province has suspended indoor dining at restaurants and pubs until at least April 19 in B.C. due to a spike in COVID-19 numbers. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. sets new COVID-19 daily record with 1,293 cases Thursday

New order allows workplace closures when infections found

The new 3,500 hectare conservancy in Tahltan territory is located next to Mount Edziza Provincial Park. (BC Parks Photo)
New conservancy protects sacred Tahltan land near Mount Edziza Provincial Park

Project is a collaboration between Skeena Resources, conservation groups and the TCG

Burnaby MLA Raj Chouhan presides as Speaker of the B.C. legislature, which opened it spring session April 12 with a speech from the throne. THE CANADIAN PRESS
B.C. NDP promises more health care spending, business support in 2021 budget

John Horgan government to ‘carefully return to balanced budgets’

A plane is seen through the window on the tarmac of Vancouver International Airport as the waiting room is empty. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
100+ international travellers who landed in B.C. refused to quarantine

The Public Health Agency of Canada says it issued $3,000 violation tickets to each

A health-care worker holds up a vial of the AstraZeneca Covishield vaccine at a COVID-19 vaccination clinic in Montreal, Thursday, March 18, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson
PHAC receives first report of blood clot linked to AstraZeneca

The federal agency says the person is now recovering at home

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A real estate sign is pictured in Vancouver, B.C. THE CANADIAN PRESS Jonathan Hayward
1 in 3 young Canadians have given up on owning a home: poll

Data released Monday says 36% of adults younger than 40 have given up on home ownership entirely

Dr. Bonnie Henry gives her daily media briefing regarding Covid-19 for the province of British Columbia in Victoria, B.C, Monday, December 7, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
B.C. urges people to stay in their neighbourhoods, discourages out-of-household meet-ups

Dr. Bonnie Henry says there should be no travel, even to the next city over

Dr. E. Kwok administers a COVID-19 vaccine to a recipient at a vaccination clinic run by Vancouver Coastal Health, in Richmond, B.C., Saturday, April 10, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Most Canadians plan to get COVID-19 vaccine, but safety fears drive hesitancy: poll

This comes as confidence in governments is plummeting in provinces being hit hardest by the pandemic

Marathon of Hope runner Terry Fox is shown in a 1981. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/CP)
Terry Fox’s legacy of resilience resonates during COVID-19 crisis, says brother

Fred Fox said his brother’s legacy of resilience has taken on renewed resonance as COVID-19 rages on

A youth was arrested following a car crash on Wallace Street on Saturday, April 10. (Karl Yu/News Bulletin)
Onlookers laugh and jeer as B.C. teen beaten, then forced to strip and walk home

Police arrest older teen, call video shared on social media ‘disturbing’

Most Read