A 17-year-old boy is in hospital with life-threatening injuries after a stabbing at his Scarborough high school on Monday afternoon, Toronto police say.
The stabbing happened at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute at 3663 Danforth Ave. Police at 14 Division were alerted at 3:07 p.m., just before dismissal. The school was locked down immediately.
Isma Manzoor, a Grade 10 student, told reporters she saw the victim after the stabbing.
"I was in the washroom, and when I came out, I just saw the guy who got stabbed with blood all over his stomach, and I got scared so I ran back to class," she said.
"I hugged my dad right when I got out."
Acting Insp. Craig Young, spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said the Grade 12 student was in the office suffering from a stab wound when officers arrived. He said officers began life-saving measures until Toronto paramedics took over.
Paramedics took him to a local hospital in an emergency run.
No concerns about public safety, police say
Young said officers cleared the school, went room-to-room to make sure the school was safe, interviewed students who may have been involved or who witnessed anything, and helped teachers to dismiss students from their classrooms.
He declined to release any suspect information but said: "We do not believe there are any concerns for public safety at this point in time."
Parents were told that they could meet their children at the parking lot on the east side of the school. For hours after the stabbing, there was a large police presence in the area.
Const. Laura Brabant, another spokesperson for the Toronto Police Service, said earlier that police believe the stabbing may have happened inside the school.
Ryan Bird, spokesperson for the Toronto District School Board (TDSB), said social workers were at the school on Monday to provide support.
"Obviously, we are here to support our students and staff in any way we can right now," Bird said. "Obviously, our heart goes out to the victim in this and it is our hope that he makes a speedy recovery."
Bird said he is not sure if the school will be open on Tuesday, but if it can open, it will. He said such an incident is "concerning" for students.
The stabbing is the second at Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute this year. The first, on April 25, left a boy with serious injuries.
"I think one is too many and schools deserve to be a safe place to learn and work," Bird said. "This isn't the answer to a problem that a student may or may not have."
'Don't point your fingers' at kids, parent says
Bird said the TDSB plays an important role in preventing violence in schools but it needs help from government and its community partners and it's not something it can do alone.
Anna Sidiropoulos, a parent who was school council chair last year, said the community needs to come together to support the students.
"We've got to figure out what we're going to do. We are failing. It's not them. Don't point your fingers at these specific kids. It's us. All of us. You, you, you, you and me. All of us, we're failing our kids," she said.
There is a school council meeting scheduled for Tuesday night and several parents said they intend to raise the issue of student safety and mental health.