Arrest at École Béatrice-Desloges: the work of the police under the magnifying glass

On Friday, hundreds of students from Béatrice-Desloges Catholic Secondary School in Ottawa’s east end took part in a noisy demonstration to denounce the application humiliating the establishment’s dress code.

They denounced the way in which school staff unexpectedly checked the clothes of their students – the majority of them girls.

Students demonstrated loudly against the application of the dress code on Friday at Béatrice-Desloges secondary school.

Students demonstrated loudly against the application of the dress code on Friday at Béatrice-Desloges secondary school.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Angie Bonenfant

A young man, who does not attend school, was handcuffed and placed under arrest by officers for trespassing. He was escorted off the school grounds and later released.

The video of his arrest circulated widely on social media and sparked outrage. Several have criticized the behavior of the police.

I don’t immediately see the need to have escalated the situationreacted the councilor of the Kitchissippi district, Jeff Leiperon his Twitter account. I spoke with the police to express my disagreement with physically taking control of the young man, even though he had been trespassing.

[Je me demande] why the intervention of the Ottawa police was necessary without [avoir tenté] further de-escalationwrote the Cumberland ward councilor, Catherine Kittson the social network. I’m concerned about the whole situation.

After living through a 28-day illegal occupation of downtown Ottawa marked by little police action, Catherine McKenney, who represents the neighborhood Somersetfinds the response of the police to a demonstration which denounces an application sexist dress code of amazing.

The police and school response [et du conseil scolaire] to this peaceful protest put the students in danger from the start. »

A quote from Catherine McKenney, representing the citizens of Somerset Ward

If the elected [y compris les membres de la Commission de services policiers] don’t question the actions of the police, so who will?

Appropriate police response, says acting chief

The Acting Chief of the Ottawa Police Service (OPS), Steve Bell, defended the behavior of his officers in a letter to members of the Police Services Board who demanded an explanation. He maintains that his men responded appropriately in an effort to maintain public safety.

The 911 central received three calls from citizens and staff members of École Béatrice-Desloges concerned about the safety of students who were demonstrating on the side of the road, while cars were traveling at high speed, he writes.

Police were called in as reinforcements during the protest.

Police were called in as reinforcements during the protest.

Photo: Radio-Canada / Angie Bonenfant

Several officers attended the scene to manage the flow of traffic and help keep students off the roadwayhe continues. Officers are required to respond to these types of calls when the safety of young people or other members of the public is at risk.

The calls prompted a legitimate police response. »

A quote from Steve Bell, Acting Chief, OPS

The demonstration remained peaceful, but the situation was disrupted when two teenagers who were not attending school began to agitate the crowd, said the acting police chief.

The two youngsters were told at least five times by an officer that they were not to stand on the property and that they should stay clear of the carriageway on the other side of the road. […] After these warnings and interactions, one of these youths was arrested at the scene.

Council satisfied with police work

The superintendent of education at the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE), Jason Dupuis, assesses that the work of the police was well done.

A man stands behind a microphone.

Jason Dupuis, the superintendent of education at the Conseil des écoles catholiques du Centre-Est (CECCE).

Photo: Radio-Canada / Angie Bonenfant

I think they did a great jobhe said in an interview with CBC. Our students were very respectful in the way of protesting, but the students who were outside our school unfortunately did not cooperate.

I saw behavior that was, to me, unacceptable, and the police did what they had to do. »

A quote from Jason Dupuis, superintendent of education at the CECCE

Mr. Dupuis was also at the Béatrice-Desloges School on Monday to continue his investigation. He met students and collected testimonies in connection with the events of last Friday.

The board administration is currently reviewing the dress code policy for all schools and assessing what changes could be made, he said.

It’s all on the tablehe launched. We look at what is possible. We really want to maintain good collaboration with the students as well as the political table. […] We are going to work with all these groups to make sure that we put in place something where the students feel good and come to school to learn.

Students demonstrating in front of Béatrice-Desloges secondary school

Students demonstrating in front of Béatrice-Desloges secondary school

Photo: Radio-Canada / Angie Bonenfant

However, students met on school grounds remain skeptical about the investigation and the steps taken by the school board.

I think they’re really trying to just change the story of the students and then say they didn’t ask the girls to bend over, that the blitz was normal, that it was nothing extreme and that the world exaggerateslaments Sophie Talbot, 16.

I feel like the school is trying to keep its reputation — but honestly it just frustrates people even more — and it’s going to get worse.supported for his part Dia-Maria Nasser, 16 years old.

Disappointed, some students plan to organize a march [un walkout] Tuesday at 12.15 p.m. around the school to protest against the members of the management who organized the blitz.

With information from Fiona Collienne and Nafi Alibert

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