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

Brady Durkin. Photo Submitted
Young Sylvan Lake golfer places in the Top 10 in the country

Brady Durkin finished the National Championship tournament in 8th place recently

Health Minister Tyler Shandro and Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the chief medical officer of health, receive flu shot. Photo via Government of Alberta
COVID-19: One more death in central zone

Ponoka County on province’s watchlist

Many rural municipalities were concerned about a proposed reduction to their industrial revenues, but Alberta’s Municipal Affairs minister has come up with an alternative solution. (Photo contributed)
Province and rural municipalities agree on a plan to support Alberta’s energy industry

Creating new wells or pipelines would result in a three year ‘tax holiday’

Kjeryn Dakin, owner of Buks and Bukwildz, poses for a photo with her plaque for Business Philanthropy Award, Photo Submitted
Sylvan Lake Business Awards show the resiliency of local business community

The business awards was held in six local restaurants on Oct. 17

The influenza vaccine will be available at no cost starting Monday in Alberta. “The more that we can avoid influenza-related tests, emergency visits and hospitalizations, the stronger our system will be to support those with COVID-19 and all other health needs," says Dr. Deena Hinshaw, the province's chief medical officer of health. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)
Hinshaw urges Albertans to get flu shot as COVID cases jump by 332

Alberta’s central zone now has 132 active COVID-19 cases

In this photo provided by Shannon Kiss, smoke from the CalWood Fire billows, Sunday, Oct. 18, 2020, as seen from Gunbarrel, Colo. (Shannon Kiss via AP)
‘First guys out:’ Western Canadian air tanker fleet busy despite drop in wildfires

CEO believes wildfires have become more dangerous in recent years as people live closer to where they start

A passer-by walks past a COVID-19 testing clinic in Montreal, Friday, Oct. 16, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Ryan Remiorz
Canada ‘yet to see’ deaths due to recent COVID surge as cases hit 200,000

Much of the increase in case numbers can be attributed to Ontario and Quebec

robbery
UPDATE: Suspect identified in early morning shooting

Rimbey RCMP had responded to a complaint of an armed robbery at the Bluffton City General Store

Executive Director of Agape Kate Halas (left) receives $1000 from Sgt. Eric Christensen (right) on behalf of Agape. Photo/ Shaela Dansereau.
Former Wetaskiwin Peace Officer wins provincial award; gives back to Wetaskiwin community

Eric Christensen has won the Alberta Association of Community Peace Officers Award of Excellence.

Agriculture Minister Devin Dreeshen (Alberta government photo)
Big boost for Alberta college agriculture research

The $2-million agreement to benefit Lethbridge College’s applied research team

Grant and Barbara Howse, in quarantine in Invermere. Mike Turner photo
Denied entry into U.S., Canadian couple still forced to quarantine for 2 weeks

The rules around crossing the U.S. border led to a bizarre situation for an Invermere couple

Employee Sophia Lovink shows off a bag of merchandise in Toronto on Thursday, June 11, 2020. (THE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette)
Canada gets C-average grade on 2nd year of cannabis legalization

Cannabis Council of Canada releases report card on federal government and legalization

Canadian and American flags fly near the Ambassador Bridge at the Canada-USA border crossing in Windsor, Ont. on Saturday, March 21, 2020. Restrictions on non-essential travel between Canada and the United States are being extended until at least Nov. 21. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Rob Gurdebeke
Non-essential travel restrictions at Canada-U.S. border extended to at least Nov. 21

The restrictions do not apply to those providing essential services in either country

(The Canadian Perss)
Banff wolves have lower survival rate due to hunting, trapping outside park boundary

Researchers looked at 72 radio-collared wolves in the national park from 1987 to August 2019

Most Read