By ALI RAZA, Local Journalism Initiative Reporter
A 22-year-old man has been charged with assault in connection with an alleged anti-Black racism incident near Glen Ames Senior Public School in the Beach earlier this week.
Police were in the area of the Williamson Road and Wineva Avenue school on Monday, Oct. 26, when the alleged incident took place, and arrested a man at the scene.
Tristan Lopez, 22, is charged with one count of assault. He was scheduled to make a court appearance on Oct. 27.
Monday’s was the second such alleged incident with the first occurring on Oct. 14 with a group of students at lunch, said school principal Kristina Wessenger-Macdonald in a letter sent home to parents on Oct. 26. In the Oct. 14 incident, a man fled the area before police arrived.
The school also sent a letter to parents and guardians regarding the Oct. 14 incident. and again on Oct. 26 after police charged the man.
“The incident took place off school property as the student was making his way home from school,” Principal Kristina Wessenger-Macdonald said in the letter which alleged “a student was approached by the unknown male who made anti-Black racist comments at the student and then physically assaulted him.”
“Other students and a staff member who witnessed the altercation intervened and provided assistance to the student.”
“It goes without saying that this is very upsetting but thankfully the student was not seriously injured,” she added.
Wessenger-Macdonald said the school’s staff will increase vigilance and patrols of the grounds, while a social worker has been arranged to provide support for students upset by the incident.
“We want to emphasize to all our students, staff, and parents the importance of awareness and care even in our everyday routines,” she wrote.
“Our staff regularly review with students the kinds of precautions they can take to safeguard themselves. Students are encouraged to walk with a buddy to and from school and to report any suspicious activity or strangers to a staff member.”
Wessenger-Macdonald encouraged parents and guardians with questions and concerns to contact the school.
- Ali Raza is a Local Journalism Initiative Reporter for Beach Metro News. His reporting is funded by the Government of Canada through its Local Journalism Initiative.