Parents of a child who had been sexually abused by her schoolmates at an Ottawa elementary school say they don’t see a solution to the problem.
It is a troubling development that will no doubt be discussed in the coming weeks by the provincial government and other stakeholders.
At the moment, the family is seeking help from the Ottawa Children’s Aid Society.
Their daughter, now 12, was last seen in September when her family received an anonymous call from a friend.
“This is the first time we’ve been told that we’re being investigated, that we have been investigated,” said her father, Tony, who declined to give his full name.
The family is worried about what might happen if their daughter is ever found and has taken their concerns to the Ottawa police, the Children’s and Youth Services agency, the province and the federal government.
“We don, in our opinion, have a lot of options, a lot to lose if we have an investigation,” he said.
“I don’t think the Ottawa Police Service is doing anything to help us.
They haven’t done anything.”
Ottawa police said the family contacted them on Sept. 20.
They have not yet received a report from police or the Ottawa Child Protection and Advocacy Unit.
Tony said police contacted the school, which then contacted the child’s mother, and the child was removed from school.
“She was removed and the teacher who was involved was removed,” he explained.
The school has been cooperative with the investigation.
“The principal said he was going to meet with the parents to discuss what the next steps should be,” Tony said.
Ottawa police spokesman Const.
Jason Michalyshen said police have not received a formal complaint from the parents or any other parties.
He would not say whether the Ottawa school was involved in the investigation of the school.
But he said parents are urged to contact police if they have any information about the case.
“It’s very important that parents know how to contact the police if there’s any information that they need to get to them,” he added.
A spokesman for the agency said the Ottawa Youth Services Authority was not in a position to comment on the investigation because of privacy laws.
Ottawa Children and Youth Safety says it has no official role in the case or any investigation.
A spokesperson for the province said it had no comment.
The agency says it can only intervene if parents contact police.
The parents said they are concerned about the consequences of the investigation, which could include the termination of the child from the school and the possible loss of their child.
The child’s parents are from South Africa.
The investigation is still ongoing and a full investigation is expected to be conducted by the end of the week.
The girl’s father, who asked that his name not be published, said he does not believe the school has done anything wrong.
“My understanding is that the school didn’t have any knowledge of the abuse,” he told CBC News.
“That’s what I think, and that’s what she’s saying.
It’s an unfortunate situation.
We don’t have a reason to believe that there was no child abuse.”