Ottawa Citizen

Wednesday November 3, 1999

Student stabbed in hallway

Police arrest girl at St. Patrick's school after teen receives cut in abdomen

Jennifer Pritchett, With files from Don Campbell
The Ottawa Citizen

A 17-year-old male student is in hospital after he was stabbed in the abdomen yesterday afternoon outside a classroom at St. Patrick's High School.

Ottawa-Carleton police say a girl, whose identity is protected under the provisions of the Young Offender's Act, was arrested at the scene and remained in custody last night until she was released in the care of her parents. Her age was not released.

Police have no motive for the attack.

The male student, who is in Grade 12, was taken to the Ottawa Hospital's General site where he was treated for non-life threatening injuries and later underwent exploratory surgery. He is expected to make a full recovery.

Joe Mullally, principal at St. Patrick's, located at 2525 Alta Vista Dr., said the 17-year-old student arrived at the school office just after the 2:30 p.m. dismissal complaining he had been cut in the hallway.

"The student didn't know, at that time, what he had been cut with," said Mr. Mullally. "Before an ambulance was called, the cut was looked at by school staff. It was about two inches in length and there was some blood so we decided to call an ambulance."

The principal said the incident is unusual for the school.

"We're treating this as an isolated incident -- a verbal dispute which escalated to violence," he said. "This is not in the character of the school. Tomorrow will be business as usual at the school. Other than some usual fights, this is the first bit of violence that has happened since I've been here."

However, in November 1996, two St. Patrick's students were stabbed several times by a group of students believed to be from nearby Ridgemont high school after a fight broke out at a residential street corner near St. Patrick's.

In that attack, two students, one 17 and one 18, were hospitalized with multiple stab wounds to their legs and buttocks. A 16-year-old student was later charged.

Police beefed up security at the two schools for some time after those stabbings, which left a trail of blood up the steps at St. Patrick's high school.

But this wasn't the first time there were problems with violence at the west-end high school, which is attended by about 1,200 students. About four years ago, school officials installed a peer mediation program to help students solve conflicts.

Copyright 1999 Ottawa Citizen