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Young girl suffers broken femur following incident at school dance

Police official says their investigation determined the case was not related to bullying, as the girl's father has alleged

An incident involving a young boy and girl earlier this month at Barrie's Maplegrove Public School left the 12-year-old girl in hospital with a broken femur. 

City police investigated the serious injury, but have since closed the case with no charges being laid.  

The incident happened at an intermediate dance at the Grove Street East school on Nov. 8.

After falling to the floor, the girl suffered a broken femur and was taken to a Toronto hospital for emergency surgery, where she required three screws to fix the damage.

Barrie police communications co-ordinator Peter Leon told BarrieToday that, following the investigation, no charges will be laid.

“The incident was isolated in nature and, while certainly unfortunate, our investigation concluded that no charges needed to be laid here,” said Leon.

In an interview with the girl's father, Jeff Williams told BarrieToday he's upset that nothing will be done to rectify what happened to his daughter, which he believes was a case of bullying. 

“I know they say (they) can’t prove he didn’t mean to hurt her, but she is in the hospital with broken bones. Something must be able to be done,” Williams said.

Police say their investigation determined the incident was not related to bullying. 

“We have programs in place at our many schools that look into cases of bullying and help to give kids advice on how to work with and against bullies,” Leon said. “Through our investigation, we found no reason to label this as bullying, but more of a one-off situation at a school function.”

Simcoe County District School Board superintendent Stuart Finlayson told BarrieToday he also does not view the injury as being related to bullying.

Findlayson, who noted school officials also completed an internal investigation of their own, said he also considered the situation to be isolated.

“Not all instances where a student is injured is bullying,” Findlayson said. “He (the boy in question) contacted the girl in a playful way, she reacted to that and it resulted in her being injured.” 

While investigations by the school and police concluded it was not bullying, Williams told BarrieToday he doesn’t know what else to call the situation.

“They can call this an isolated incident and that it isn’t bullying, but she has been bullied in the past and I am 100 per cent taking her out of the school when she is able to go back,” said Williams. “Maybe this one instance wasn’t bullying, but what is the name for it then? It isn’t assault because no charges are being laid, right?"

It's unclear how much longer the girl will remain in hospital for treatment.

Shawn Gibson

About the Author: Shawn Gibson

Shawn Gibson is a staff writer based in Barrie
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