Principal Nathan Johnson is putting the hammer down after a string of violent incidents at Estevan Comprehensive School led to assaults and police reports.
In a letter sent out to parents earlier this week, the school described an increase in violent incidents in 2023, and outlined new measures that students must follow, including:
- Students must attend their assigned classes
- Only one student is allowed out of their class at a time
- Students must stay in supervised areas through out the entire period
- Students working outside of the classroom must stay in a supervised area
- Students who refuse to attend class will be sent home and their parents will be notified
"We had some incidents at the school. The lead up to February break we had a 10-day stretch where we had three assaults and two fist fights," Johnson said. "Just the volume and the number is just quite a bit larger than normal. We see one offs of events like that, but it just seemed to be one after the other."
"We're hearing concerns from parents and students about safety and there needed to be something done."
Johnson said the feedback he's gotten from parents and students so far has been positive.
"Of course we're disappointed, but I feel like (the measures) have been really well-received by students and parents alike," he said. "We've got some great kids here the last couple days, they've been incredible. They are understanding that there needs to be some measures put in place like these. There's a little bit of change in expectation, but all the kids have, I thought, received this very well."
Johnson added that there will also be an increased police presence at the high school going forward.
"They've committed to an increased presence at the school, which is absolutely appreciated. We've got a great relationship with the Estevan Police Service and we want to maintain that," he said. "They've been very responsive any time we've needed them and they've committed to being more visible here, and that sure is appreciated."
Johnson said the measures could be adjusted at any time, and hopes the new rules can make more people feel safe at the school.
"We want people to feel safe and want to focus their efforts on their academics and see lots of positive behaviours," he said.
"We got 750 students here, and we're not talking about 750 students that are fighting, but we can't sit back and say 'Because it's a small number of people we're okay with it,'" he said. "The right answer is zero...we want no fighting. We want no assaults or anything like that, and that's the number we're shooting for. We want to make sure people feel safe while they're here."