A screenshot taken from a video posted to Facebook shows kids walking over 14-year-old Brett Corbett, lying in a stream. (Facebook)

Disabled boy has ‘forgiven’ bullies who walked on him in stream, mom says

A Cape Breton teen who has cerebral palsy was told to lie in a stream as other kids walked over him

The mother of a Cape Breton teen with cerebral palsy says her son has forgiven a group of students who bullied him last week — telling him to lie in a shallow stream as other students walked over him.

But she said he is still afraid to return to his high school because he doesn’t feel safe.

In an interview Tuesday, Terri McEachern said her son, 14-year-old Brett Corbett, received an apology over the weekend from two of the students involved.

School administrators said Tuesday they wanted to assure parents and the community that they would “work with students, staff and parents to address this behaviour.”

The stream, known as Burr-Bank, is near Glace Bay High School where Corbett is a Grade 9 student.

The incident was recorded and ended up posted on Facebook, causing wide-spread concern and condemnation.

COLUMN: Bullying is no longer a case of ‘boys will be boys’

“To see the video of your kid laying there and kids mocking, ridiculing, it tore my heart out,” said McEachern, who added that she has been dealing with calls from media outlets as far away as Washington, D.C., and Africa since the story about her son broke.

McEachern said the family saw the video, but it didn’t become public until a girl posted it on social media to counter those who said the incident didn’t happen.

She said a boy and a girl who were involved came to her home this past weekend to apologize in person.

“He’s accepting of the apologies, he’s forgiving of them,” she said. “He was OK with then coming here and apologizing so I’m OK with that.”

An emotional McEachern said while it’s been hard to deal with a situation she still can’t believe happened, she has to try to forgive as well.

“I don’t hold hate and resentment in my heart. It hurts, it was wrong, it’s unacceptable, but hate only grows, it’s a dark emotion.”

On Tuesday, the Cape Breton-Victoria Regional Centre for Education released a statement promising action.

“This incident is tremendously harmful to both the individual involved and the school community as a whole. We are disappointed and saddened by the behaviour that led to the incident on the video.”

The statement said that in addition to dealing with the individuals involved, the school would conduct a restorative practice process.

“A restorative practice approach involves students, staff, parents, School Advisory Council and members of the school community, in a process that acknowledges the harm done and gives a voice to all in planning our way forward within a respectful, safe and secure learning environment.”

However, McEachern said school officials hadn’t yet contacted her, and she’ll be looking for reassurance that her son will be safe in school.

“An apology and a one day suspension doesn’t change tomorrow how Brett feels about what happened,” she said.

McEachern said she will keep her son at home until Monday to see what develops.

The Canadian Press

Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

New design sought for community hall in Houston

The District of Houston is looking for a design for a new… Continue reading

Busy gym at leisure centre in Houston

There’s been a healthy response to the mid-June opening of the leisure… Continue reading

Beautiful sunrise

Houston resident, Naomi Himech captured this beautiful sunrise while camping recently on… Continue reading

Have the Churches in Houston resumed service?

Changed hours, different practices amidst the pandemic

B.C. records new COVID-19 death, 85 more cases; Horgan calls on celebrity help

This brings the total number of active confirmed cases to 531 across the province

Wedding party bear sprayed at Okanagan campsite irks locals

Latest criminal activity at the Meadows leaves locals frustrated

Paramedics fired for allowing patient to crawl for treatment on Downtown Eastside: court documents

The man spent three days in intensive care and three months recovering in hospital from sepsis

Feds seeking private consultant to design firearm buyback program

The ban covers some 1,500 models and variants of what the government considers assault-style weapons

Face masks for teachers can impact learning on young children, experts say

Face coverings, mandatory in most indoor public places across the province, can help limit the spread of COVID-19

Horvat scores 2 as Vancouver Canucks beat Blues 5-2 in NHL playoff opener

Game 2 in best-of-seven series goes Friday night

Funding to support early reclamation work at acid leaking B.C. mine

B.C. Government committing up to $1.575 million for Tulsequah Chief Mine site

Teachers to get 2 extra days to prepare for students’ return, now set for Sept. 10

Students will first start with orientation and learn rules of COVID-19 classroom policies

Most Read