Photo: The Canadian Press
Parliament Hill and the Ottawa skyline as viewed from Gatineau, Que. on Monday, September 5, 2022. Police say six teenagers have been charged after they committed a hate-motivated attack near an Ottawa high school last month. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Justin Tang
Six youths have been charged in Ottawa after police carried out a hate-motivated attack near a high school last month.
Ottawa Police announced the charges Monday, saying the attack took place on September 8 near Gloucester High School.
They said six youths had been charged with multiple hate-motivated offences, including robbery, conspiracy to commit a criminal offense and intimidation through violence.
The accused juveniles cannot be identified under the Juvenile Criminal Law Act.
A video shared on social media last month showed a group pinning a teenager to the ground before kicking and punching him.
In an online petition, a group of parents with children studying at Ottawa-Carleton District School Board schools said the victim was a Syrian immigrant and called on the Ontario board and government to take “actual steps.” to protect students from hate violence.
“We, as parents of children attending the OCDSB schools, also see ourselves as the victim’s parents,” the parents said in the petition, which was signed by more than 14,500 people on Monday.
“As such, (we) are deeply angry and utterly shocked that this is actually happening in our safe communities and among students.”
In a statement, the school board confirmed the “call to action” to keep students safe and said the school had discussed what happened to the students and how to raise concerns with staff.
“This fall, the OCDSB introduced a new anonymous reporting tool in secondary schools for students who wish to raise concerns about issues such as mental health issues, safety, bullying, hate or discrimination, abuse and other areas,” the board said.
The board said it has also launched an internal investigation into the incident and supports the student and his family.
Grace Lee, a spokeswoman for Ontario Secretary of Education Stephen Lecce, issued a statement condemning the attack.
“It is totally unacceptable that this student should be subjected to violence in his community,” she said. “All students – regardless of creed, race, sexual orientation and race – deserve to feel safe in and out of school.”