Student, 15, charged with attempted murder after 2 staff stabbed at Bedford high school

·3 min read
Classes planned for Tuesday afternoon at Charles P. Allen High School have been cancelled.  (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)
Classes planned for Tuesday afternoon at Charles P. Allen High School have been cancelled. (Brian MacKay/CBC - image credit)

A 15-year-old student at Charles P. Allen High School in Bedford, N.S., has been charged with two counts of attempted murder, after two staff members were stabbed at the school on Monday morning.

Halifax Regional Police say the two employees at the school are in serious but stable condition in hospital.

The student, who is not being named as he is a minor, was also transported to hospital on Monday with non-life-threatening stab wounds, police say.

In addition to facing two counts of attempted murder, the 15-year-old is also facing:

  • Two charges of aggravated assault.

  • Two charges for possession of a weapon dangerous to public peace.

  • Two charges of carrying a concealed weapon.

  • Possession of a prohibited weapon.

  • Possession of a weapon knowing it is unauthorized.

  • Mischief.

Police say the investigation is ongoing. The charges have not been proven in court.

Blair Rhodes/CBC
Blair Rhodes/CBC

The accused made a brief appearance in Nova Scotia youth court on Tuesday morning. He wore a face mask as he sat in the prisoner's box, with his head bowed and a large gauze bandage on his throat.

A bail hearing is scheduled for Thursday and the Crown is opposed to his release. The Crown also served notice that if he's convicted, they will be seeking an adult sentence.

During a police briefing on Tuesday, Chief Dan Kinsella asked people to avoid speculating about what happened.

"An incident such as this, with the magnitude of it and, as uncommon as it is, it does bring a level of trauma and a level of fear and certainly a level of concern to the to the broader community," Kinsella told reporters.

"Parents want to know that their children are safe and they're in a good learning environment.... We work very closely with [the Halifax Regional Centre for Education] and we're committed to safety."

Classes cancelled for second day

In a note sent to parents, the Halifax Regional Centre for Education said on the advice of its crisis team, classes at Charles P. Allen High School were cancelled for Tuesday.

"Staff required some more time to get through what they had been through yesterday," Lindsey Bunin, a spokesperson for the Halifax Regional Centre for Education, told reporters on Tuesday.

The school was still open for students to speak with support staff if they wanted to talk about the incident. Bunin said "about 15" students took advantage of it.

The decision to cancel classes ran counter to HRCE's initial decision to resume instruction at the school at 12:45 p.m. on Tuesday.

Bunin said the school is expected to reopen on Wednesday but that the situation is "fluid."

"As HRP has indicated, it was an isolated incident, but it doesn't make it any less scary. We completely understand there is some fear among family, staff and students but we want everyone to know safety is our No. 1 priority, that we will continue to provide supports to ensure everyone's mental health and healing and wellbeing throughout this time. And we're here for you," Bunin said.

In an email to parents on Monday, school principal Stephanie Bird said school psychologists, social workers and counsellors would be available at Charles P. Allen over the coming days to provide individual and small group supports to students who would like to connect with them.

She also shared the information for the provincial mental health and addictions crisis line at 1-888-429-8167 and the Kids Help Phone for children and youth, which can be reached by dialling 1-800-668-6868 or by texting CONNECT to 686868.