A thirteen year-old Canadian, Briar MacLean, was reprimanded by school officials for potentially saving the life of one of his fellow classmates. After defending the victim from an armed student, the vice principal chastised MacLean, saying that he should have gotten a teacher involved instead of acting quickly.
MacLean told the National Post that he was in a morning class in his middle school in Calgary when he saw a bully antagonizing another student. “He put him in a headlock, and I saw that,” he said.
The fight escalated when MacLean “heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.”
MacLean instinctively jumped and pushed the bully away from the other student and then continued about his day unfazed. However, later he was called into the office and not allowed to return to classes for the rest of the day.
The vice principal called MacLean’s mother, Leah O’Donnell, saying that her son was involved in an incident where “he decided to ‘play hero’ and jump in.” The vice principal added that the school did not “condone heroics,” and that the proper course of action would have been to get a school administrator to handle it.
O’Donnell said, “I asked: ‘In the time it would have taken him to go get a teacher, could that kid’s throat have been slit?’ She said yes, but that’s beside the point.”
“What are they teaching them?” O’Donnell said. “That when you go out into the workforce and someone is not being very nice to you, you have to tattle to your boss? You’re not going to get promoted that way.”
O’Donnell expressed dismay at the vice principal’s comments.
“What are we going to do if there are no heroes in the world? There would be no police, no fire, no armed forces. If a guy gets mugged on the street, everyone is going to run away and be scared or cower in the corner. It’s not right,” she said.
The Calgary school board has not commented on the incident except to confirm the bully has been suspended.