The Alberta Parents’ Union is reigniting warnings that the Calgary Board of Education’s proposal to move a program for pregnant teens is unsafe after a 13-year-old was arrested following a stabbing at the high school proposed for the relocation.
The Calgary Board of Education wants to close the Kensington Building, which houses the Louise Dean Centre for pregnant teens and young mothers, and relocate the program to Jack James High School in Forest Lawn.
On Tuesday, police were called to the southeast Calgary high school after reports of a stabbing. A 13-year-old boy was located and taken into custody shortly after.
“The Calgary Board of Education has insisted that the safety of the teen moms entering Jack James High School is their number one priority, but just today a 13-year-old boy that does not attend Jack James was able to enter and stab another student,” Alberta Parents’ Union executive director Jeff Park told True North.
“We believe these women when they say this location is not safe and call upon the Calgary Board of Education to do the same!”
The Calgary Police say one student had minor injuries and was treated on sight.
“The school was temporarily placed into lockdown while officers worked to confirm details about the incident as well as the last known location of the suspect,” a police release says.
The Calgary Board of Education told True North that they are currently looking into the matter and will provide comment at a later time.
In a statement to True North last month, the board said Kensington requires an investment of around $17 million in maintenance to continue operating, while Jack James needs a one time investment of $5.6 million.
Last month, Park told True North that Forest Lawn has some of the highest crime rates in Calgary and isn’t safe for young, pregnant women.
“The entire idea of this program is that these ladies get bullied and harassed and too often subjected to violence in regular schools,” he said at the time.
According to Data Enthusiast, the residential area of Forest Lawn had 2,875 counts of crime from January 2017 to July 2022. That includes 657 counts of non-domestic assault, 208 counts of non-domestic violence and 118 counts of street crime.
In Calgary’s all-crime category, Forest Lawn was surpassed only by Beltline and the Downtown Commercial Core.
The board will vote on Nov. 29 on whether to proceed with the relocation efforts.
Calgary police say charges are pending.