A mother in Victoria is concerned about School District 61 safety protocols after her 13-year-old son suffered a whiplash during a competition between his classmates and teachers.
Mary Ann Watson said she received an email at the end of June from her son’s Arbutus Middle School physical education teacher, Clayton Howe, saying the class would be participating in a bubble soccer game. The game involves players wearing large, transparent inflatable bubble suits with handles inside chasing an oversized soccer ball.
Howe noted in his email that there was no parental waiver because the company had its own special insurance – saying “sue them, not us” – and noting that no student would be required to. to participate.
As regularly the teams are split to keep the players of close size, the game evolved into a “Bubble Gladiator” competition, where people would race to try and take them down, with teams split between students and teachers, mostly Howe.
“The teacher who was hitting these kids so hard, he’s a good teacher, he’s loved… but the kids would joke that he was on a freight train,” Watson said. “He told them physics wouldn’t be on their side.
The entire game was well documented as the kids and teachers posted videos to Instagram, and Watson noted that at the end of the game one of the teachers dumped the file on all surrounding students.
“My concern is why is this professor filming him and not stopping him?” Watson asked.
Watson said that over the next few days her son became stiffer and had pain in his neck and shoulders. When she took him to the doctor, they were told it was clearly a whiplash. Watson said at least three other students she knew had similar symptoms.
|A doctor’s note indicates that Mary Ann Watson’s son has a whiplash. Watson says her son was injured while playing “bubble gladiator” with his teacher. (File contributed / Mary Ann Watson|
“It was a dangerous activity without informed consent and children were injured and it was made public when staff did not stop it,” Watson said. She brought the issue to both the teacher and the school board with very different results.
“It’s difficult for me, this teacher is a decent human being and he apologized,” she said. “My challenge is all the more that the district does not take its responsibilities and does not understand how and why this happened. “
Watson expressed concern that parents’ complaints were not taken seriously and that although she spoke with Superintendent Shelley Green as well as other members of the Board of Directors, her Complaints about the problem to the district appeared to have been dismissed.
School District 61 said they were well aware of the incident and said they had had a conversation with Watson about it.
“We are aware of this parent’s concern regarding an incident that occurred last June. The District has had extensive conversations with this parent, and our internal review of the incident is nearing completion. Once this is completed, the district will provide its responses directly to the parent at a meeting, ”the district said in an emailed statement.
“Student safety is important to the district and we took this parent’s concerns seriously. We have communicated the actions we have taken to date to the parent. We want to make sure that we provide a safe learning environment for students. “
Send a Tweet: @NicoleCrescenzi
Like us on Facebook