Seven Oaks school halting unsupervised, out-of-school lunch after string of student altercations

Students at a Seven Oaks School Division school can no longer eat lunch at local businesses following a string of incidents.

Beginning Wednesday, Oct. 9, students at Edmund Partridge Community School are not allowed to go local businesses during lunch hour unsupervised after the school division said Tuesday there has been a “few issues” the past few weeks.

“We’ve had a few incidents of friction with some kids,” said division superintendent Brian O’Leary.

“It’s about keeping the kids safe.

“School and staff just want to take control of the situation.”

CTV News obtained a letter sent to parents that said: “We have had some students experiencing difficulties with one another off school grounds in unsupervised areas. With these concerns in mind we have made a change in our lunch hour.

“We know this will be an adjustment for our students.

The letter said students who go home for lunch can continue to do so with parental permission, and parents must contact the school office. Parents who want to take their children out for lunch, must also go to the office to sign them out.

Sean Jennings said the issues have affected his two children who attend the school.

“There’s no sense of security,” Jennings said.

“Our kids go to school every day scared.”

Jennings said he thinks the new rule is a good start, but feels it’s also unfair for others. He’s calling on all parents, including himself, to find resolution.

“As parents, we all have a part to play in this,” Jennings said.

The letter added that students will need to bring a bagged lunch with them to school and will eat their meals in their classrooms from 11:15 a.m. to 11:35 a.m. It added microwaves will be available for students and if a child forgets to bring a lunch, they can drop by the school’s “food room” to grab something to eat.

From 11:35 a.m. to 12:05 p.m., students are asked to stay on school grounds or in a supervised area in the school.

The Seven Oaks School Division said it expects to keep the rule in place for the “foreseeable future” but may re-visit the rule down the road.