- Briar MacLean, 13, stepped after seeing a fellow pupil pull a knife on another during argument at school
- He disarmed the boy, but was then disciplined by staff for ignoring school rules saying he should have found a teacher
- His furious mother said that she has taught her children to stand up for others and not run away
By Damien Gayle
PUBLISHED: 08:41 EST, 1 June 2013 | UPDATED: 08:41 EST, 1 June 2013
A schoolboy who bravely tackled a knife-wielding pupil who was threatening a classmate was punished because such heroic actions are strictly banned.
Briar MacLean, 13, stepped in after he spotted an argument was quickly beginning to escalate between two boys at Sir John A. Macdonald school in Alberta, Canada.
Suddenly one of the boys pulled out a knife and began to threaten the other turning an scuffle into a potentially deadly situation.
Hero: Briar MacLean, 13, from Alberta, Canada, stands outside his school where he tackled a knife-wielding pupil – and was punished because such heroic actions are strictly forbidden
The heroic teenager charged and tackled the knife-brandishing youngster into a wall sending both attacker and knife falling to the floor.
But for his bravery the pupil received not a commendation but a stern telling off from staff for ignoring school rules.
According to the Calgary Board of Education, Briar should have left the scene to find a teacher – abandoning the unarmed student.
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Instead instincts kicked in and he chose to act – meaning there were no cuts, no stab wounds, and no need to call an ambulance.
Briar said: ‘He pulled out his flip knife so I came in and pushed him into the wall.
‘It was just to help the other kid so he wouldn’t get hurt.’
Briar’s reward for his bravery was a day in the school office, removed from the other students, and a stern lecture about not playing the hero.
‘We’ve taught him to do the right thing’: Briar with his mother Leah O’Donnell, who was furious when she learned her son was being disciplined for stepping in to help his classmate
His mother Leah O’Donnell was furious at the dressing down.
She said: ‘I received a call from the school vice-principal indicating there was an incident at the school and that my son had been involved.
‘They my son was in trouble for being a part of it.
‘They told him they don’t condone heroics in the school and he wasn’t allowed to go back to class for the day. Isn’t that horrible?
‘In our family we teach our children that they need to stand up for others and not run from danger out of self-preservation’
‘We’ve taught him to do the right thing and to step in – in our family we teach our children that they need to stand up for others and not run from danger out of self-preservation.
‘When did we decide as a society to allow our children to grow up without spines? Without a decent sense of the difference between right and wrong?
‘We’re coddling kids and that doesn’t make for strong individuals when they grow up – what are we teaching these children?’
A spokeswoman for the Calgary Board of Education said details of the incident could not be discussed due to privacy regulations.
But the Calgary Police Service confirmed they were called to the school where a student had pulled a knife while fighting with another, and a third boy had intervened to disarm the student.
The student with the knife has apparently been suspended and police are still investigating, meaning charges have not been ruled out.
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