N.S. family settles rights complaint over bullying of teen with cerebral palsy
On Nov. 7, 2018, Brett McEachern, who has cerebral palsy, was bullied into lying down in a brook alongside Glace Bay High School while students walked over him and called him names.
The Canadian Press
Published Wednesday, July 10, 2019 12:35PM EDT
HALIFAX -- A Nova Scotia family has settled a complaint against a high school in Cape Breton where a 14-year-old boy with cerebral palsy was bullied into lying in a stream while other students walked across his back.
The Nova Scotia Human Rights Commission has issued a statement saying a "restorative conference" was held to resolve the dispute between Glace Bay High School and Brett Corbett's family.
However, the commission said the agreement will be kept private.
A video posted on social media last fall showed Corbett lying face down in a cold brook outside the high school as dozens of students watched him being walked over and called offensive names.
Corbett's mother, Terri McEachern, accused the school of trying to cover up the incident on Nov. 7, 2018.
She filed a complaint with the commission on Dec. 6, 2018.
"The Human Rights Commission worked with the parties through a restorative conference and was able to assist the parties in reaching an understanding of the issues and a resolution of the matter," the commission said in a statement released this week.
"Details of the resulting settlement agreement will remain private in accordance with a confidentiality clause."
The restorative process typically involves facilitated discussions between the parties involved in a dispute. The talks focus on what led to the wrongdoing and the resulting harms.
The commission said Corbett and his mother were pleased with the "mutually agreeable" settlement.
"We are satisfied with this process and look forward to putting this matter behind us," they said in a joint statement.
Michelle MacLeod, spokeswoman for the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education, issued a statement to thank Corbett and school officials for taking part in the restorative process.
"The determined focus of both Brett and the school was to ensure Brett felt safe and welcome in the school community," MacLeod said.
"Glace Bay High has taken this time to reflect and have found ways to make their school climate and culture even more positive in their continuing effort to meet the educational, social and emotional needs of their students."