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Doctor concerned about response to potential high school hazing incident

UPDATE: The LCSD has issued a second statement on the incident. The statement is included in it’s entirety below:

“We are issuing this statement in response to current information being publicly distributed about an isolated incident that occurred at our high school on November 17, 2016. The misbehaviour was thoroughly investigated by the school division and the RCMP.  The RCMP investigation has been completed, resulting in no charges. It was determined that it was an isolated incident. The school division investigation resulted in administrative actions appropriate and consistent in cases of student related concerns.   
We find it extremely unfortunate that concerns have been voiced in disagreement with the outcomes of both the school division and RCMP investigations.

In all student misbehaviour investigations, there is a process of confidentiality while openly cooperating with the RCMP. It is our priority to remain focused on keeping the safety and privacy of our students and our school community. In accordance with our policy, procedures and privacy legislation, information concerning such matters is highly personal and we will not make further public comment beyond this statement.

Any questions regarding the police investigation can be directed to “K” Division, Media Relations of the RCMP.”

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In the wake of an incident at Holy Rosary High School, a local doctor has questions for the Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD).

The incident took place back in November, prior to the start of a Holy Rosary Raiders practice at the school. Due to the nature of what took place, it was reported to the Lloydminster RCMP, who then forwarded the findings of their investigation to the Crown.

The Crown came back with no charges against the students involved in the incident.

As for the student who was injured, they have since returned to school.

However, the actions taken by the Lloydminster Catholic School Division (LCSD) to deal with the incident have not left those impacted satisfied, with one prominent resident of the Border City coming forward to voice their concerns.

Dr. Kevin Govender, the Site Chief of Staff at the Lloydminster Hospital, indicated that the student had suffered the injury prior to the start of practice. He became involved in the matter after being contacted by the receiving staff at the hospital for his opinion on transferring the teenager to Edmonton.

“There was a student in the locker room, who, as part of a hazing incident, or some kind of punishment for poor performance, had an object inserted into an orifice, with potential for injury,” said Govender.

“My understanding is that the student was not taken to seek medical help immediately after the incident. The student was allowed to practice, and had a regular practice after the injury, and was only taken to the emergency approximately three hours after the incident.”

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Govender said he did not think the coaching staff at Holy Rosary could have made an accurate assessment of the teen’s injury immediately after the incident, as the injury needed to be looked at by specialists in both Lloydminster and Edmonton.

“The fact that the child was sent to Edmonton for an opinion for pediatric surgery would indicate to you that there was potential that this injury could have been quite severe,” said Govender.

“There is potential that the child could have bled out from a laceration of the area of penetration, and there was no way that a football coach would be able to determine whether that would happen or not. The reality of the situation is that the child could have had no symptoms at rest, but as the child engages in more demanding physical exercise with an increased heart rate, there is potential that there could have been a bleed from an area that had already clotted. The potential bleed could have been catastrophic, but we don’t know that.”

Govender also said the medical community in the city were “very concerned” about what took place.

“In my opinion, this is potentially a public health issue, with at least 45 students (emotionally) involved in this incident,” said Govender.

Govender also spoke as a parent of children within the LCSD system, and said he was “extremely disappointed” with the way the situation had been dealt with.

“I have children in the Catholic school division, and I have not received any information, electronically or written, about this incident, and unfortunately I think the majority of parents like me have not received any information about what has gone on,” said Govender.

“I think the school, and the schoolboard, have a responsibility to inform parents about what has happened, and I think it’s important for the parents to have an opinion. I think it’s important for the schoolboard to hold a town hall meeting, with the parents, of students in the Catholic School Division, to answer questions as to this incident, and to establish whether this kind of practice is commonplace in the Catholic School Division amongst the sports teams, or not, and that’s my view.”

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The school division declined to comment on the individual details of the case, only stating that student misbehavior was reported.

“All incidents are investigated by school administration to decipher what, if any discipline action and supports may be needed for those involved,” read the statement.

“All details and results of the investigation are done in accordance to privacy laws, meaning that only those affected will know the outcomes as they pertain to the individual.”

The statement says that parents will be informed in individual cases as they pertain to their children, but the division does not report on individual cases to all parents.

They also deemed the injury an isolated incident.

“This is what was determined by the RCMP investigation and our internal investigation,” read the statement.

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