New Brunswick Tribune

Wednesday, January 26, 2022

Reports of ‘swarming’ at a high school in New Brunswick were incorrect

Key takeaways:

  • At Fredericton High School, a swarm of about 40 teenagers allegedly mocked and attacked another adolescent.
  • Underhill Tomilson gave a different account of last Thursday’s events in an interview with CBC New Brunswick News on Monday.

According to various social media posts, a swarm of approximately 40 adolescents had allegedly taunted and attacked another teenager at Fredericton High School, leaving him bleeding on the ground.

The posts prompted a police investigation because they told a dramatic story of high school violence in a week that had already seen a vicious brawl and knife event at Oromocto High School, warnings of the “potential for violence” at both Fredericton and Oromocto high schools, and a police presence at both.

The “swarming” wasn’t a swarm, according to Stephanie Underhill Tomilson, the principal of Fredericton High School.

Underhill Tomilson gave a different account of last Thursday’s events in an interview with CBC New Brunswick News on Monday.

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Staff heard there was a fight going on approximately midday, according to Underhill Tomilson.

Due to previous information received the night before about an unnamed “potential for violence” at the school, police were already on the scene, so Underhill Tomilson asked whether they’d heard or seen anything.

She explained they hadn’t, so they took a trip around the outside of the school to see what they could. There were no suspicious groups of students hanging about or buzzing eagerly.

“Of course, the fight is usually over by the time you go outside,” she explained. However, “‘I was there,’ she responded when we met up with the teacher. I was present throughout the entire event. I arrived in my car and honked my horn. I’m aware of who they are.'”

‘Have you seen this post on Facebook?’

She added that they then walked back in to check the cameras and start looking through the various feeds.

“And then, out of nowhere, a teacher approaches us and asks, “Have you seen this Facebook post?” So we looked at it and were like, “Wait, what?” Is it a swarm?”

Underhill Tomilson described it as perplexing.

“There would have been greater action if there had been a swarm. We’d have known about it, “she stated. “After lunch, the kids would be chatting about it. 

There isn’t anything. Is it possible that we missed it? As a result, we had to search other regions with our cameras to figure out where and how this happened.”

She eventually realized that the incident that the teacher had witnessed and that was videotaped on two different cameras was the only one that had occurred, she added.

And it was “very different” from the swarming that had been reported on Facebook.

According to Underhill Tomilson, it was a quarrel between two youngsters, one of whom attends the school and the other does not.

The altercation was observed by a group of about 16 youngsters, not the claimed swarm of 40 pupils who jumped in to punch and kick the child, and the victim was not left bleeding on the ground.

She claimed, “It lasted just over a minute, and the teacher was there.” “He wasn’t bleeding at all.”

Source: CBC News

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