Canadian Student Stops a Stabbing Attack: Sent Home for "Playing Hero"

Briar MacLeanCredit: WIDKThirteen year-old Briar MacLean tackled a knife-wielding bully who was attacking a classmate. Instead of praising MacLean's intervention, the Calgary school officials admonished him for playing hero. As the National Post reported:

Briar MacLean was sitting in class during a study period Tuesday, the teacher was on the other side of the room and, as Grade 7 bullies are wont to do, one kid started harassing another.

“I was in between two desks and he was poking and prodding the guy,” Briar, 13, said at the kitchen table of his Calgary home Friday.

“He put him in a headlock, and I saw that.”

He added he didn’t see the knife, but “I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife.”

I heard the flick, and I heard them say there was a knife

The rest was just instinct. Briar stepped up to defend his classmate, pushing the knife-wielding bully away.

The teacher took notice, the principal was summoned and Briar went about his day. It wasn’t until fourth period everything went haywire.

“I got called to the office and I wasn’t able to leave until the end of the day,” he said.

That’s when Leah O’Donnell, Briar’s mother, received a call from the vice-principal.

 “They phoned me and said, ‘Briar was involved in an incident today,’” she said. “That he decided to ‘play hero’ and jump in.”

Ms. O’Donnell was politely informed the school did not “condone heroics,” she said. Instead, Briar should have found a teacher to handle the situation.

“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. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”

Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong. The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.

The Sun News later updated:

The school and Calgary Board of Education didn't comment until Friday, in a letter to parents on the school's website.

"The student who reportedly intervened was asked to remain in the office to explain what happened but was in no way disciplined," school principal Michael Bester wrote.

"Two students were suspended as a result of their behaviour in this incident.

"It is not recommended that students intervene in incidents such as this to ensure their own safety. There was a teacher nearby who could have been asked to assist before the third student became involved."

It would have been better had an adult been around to put a stop to the fight, but given the immediate possibility of a stabbing, MacLean's bravery should be admired not condemned.

H/T to frequent H&R commenter SugarFree.

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  • Cliché Bandit||

    Frequent...ha

  • Hugh Akston||

    H/T to frequent H&R commenter SugarFree.

    I'm sure he meant to type frequent urinator.

  • Cliché Bandit||

    He will NEVER make beloved!

  • SugarFree||

    Jealousy is an ugly color on you fellas.

  • ||

    It's so obvious that they really, really want to be frequent urinators too.

  • Hugh Akston||

    Is...is it yellow?

  • SugarFree||

    I urinate often and with a certain sense of gusto. What of it?

  • NicoleM||

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  • ||

    A hat tip? Bailey's days at Reason are numbered.

  • GILMORE||

    H/T to frequent H&R commenter filthy, unrepentant degenerate SugarFree

    I think this is moar the accurate-ish

  • cavalier973||

    Briar MacLean should show up at school tomorrow wearing a cap and a mask.

  • cavalier973||

    *cape and mask! cape and mask!

  • ||

    Too late, latent criminal. The FBI is on their way as I type.

  • Ted Levy||

    With attitudes like that, it really IS amazing we couldn't take 'em back in 1812...

  • CE||

    They were frontier tough back then. Now they're a bunch of Euro wannabes.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    They were tough in WWII, then their descent into WUSS took a single generation. That's my definition of horror.

  • Generic Stranger||

    Well, they did have the largest empire in the world at the time backing them up, and we still managed a draw.

  • Calidissident||

    This. I've always found the Canadian chest-beating over the War of 1812 to be ridiculous. It was the USA vs. the British Empire, of which Canada was a small part. It would be like Americans chest beating over the French and Indian Wars, which would be absurd IMO

  • Generic Stranger||

    Pretty much.

  • Libertymike||

    One kid acting to stop another kid from bullying a third kid is not part of the anti-bullying propaganda. In fact, bully prevention by one kid, acting alone, is not part of the progressive playbook.

  • Sevo||

    'In fact, one kid, acting alone, is not part of the progressive playbook.'

    More accurate, I think.

  • derpules||

    'Acting alone is not part of the progressive playbook.'

    Even more accurate, I think.

  • Radioactive||

    soooo, it does take a village...HA

  • Free Society||

    No it takes a centralized authority through which all heroics must be channeled.

  • ||

    Briar? The kid's a hero simply for not punching his mother in the face.

  • Live Free or Diet||

    What, you want everybody to name their kid Abbott?

  • ||

    "Double T-O licensed to thrill."

    Never figured out why that didn't work.

  • Dennis Webb||

    Schools today are dedicated to crushing personal initiative. Their message is loud and clear.

  • Free Society||

    We can't have people doing and thinking on their own.

  • CE||

    He wasn't playing a hero, he was being a hero. And lucky for them too, or they would be bringing in the grief counselors en masse right about now.

  • Brandon||

    The school apparently considers massive numbers of grief counselors stimulus.

  • Radioactive||

    better to have one throat slit than to acknowledge personal initiative as a force for good

  • BigT||

    Imagine the bully is Qadaffi and the other kid is the Libyan protesters. Now what is the answer?? Not easy.

  • CE||

    Drones.

  • Aresen||

    Ms. O’Donnell was politely informed the school did not “condone heroics,” she said. Instead, Briar should have found a teacher to handle the situation.

    “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. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”

    So, better a dead kid than a timely intervention?

    ---

    (I could have lived with it if they had said "It is wonderful that Briar intervened and we think he is a great kid. But we are worried that he could have gotten himself killed along with the bullying victim. Please take care of yourself, Briar. And take the afternoon off to unwind if you want to.")

  • PapayaSF||

    Odds are that the "we don't condone heroics" attitude comes from the typical leftist/feminist/pacifist ideological bullshit that seems to have taken over most public school systems. All traditional male virtues are not just suspect, but actively condemned.

  • Marc F Cheney||

    If you ever find yourself uttering the phrase "we don't condone heroics", you should stop and re-evaluate your fucking life.

  • Rasilio||

    Nope, too dangerous, heroics is reserved for trained professionals who are forced to shoot your dog while protecting you from the scourge of drugs.

  • Robert||

    At first glance I thought you wrote, "protecting you from the scourge of dogs." Works just as well.

  • Free Society||

    ^this guy

  • Sugarsail||

    absolutely

  • Tejicano||

    The only correct case in which one could utter the phrase "we don't condone heroics" could be spoken is when it is immediately followed by "we applaud them - in fact I believe in this case we should reward them".

  • Invisible Finger||

    Sure makes it a lot easier to be a bully.

  • Inigo M.||

    Looked at from a different angle, it could also be a question submitting to government authority. The proper authorities/first responders must be called in if you see one person about to stab another. Never mind the fact that no matter how quickly they arrive, it will be too late to save the victim. The point is for citizens to know their place and know that most things are best left to government authority, not personal initiative, and certainly not heroics.

  • Invisible Finger||

    Remember kids, next time a bully pulls a knife on a teacher, mosey on over to another adult but please not at a heroic speed because you might get hurt, mmkay?

  • Inigo M.||

    Yeah, the rule about no running in the hallways applies at all times, including in these situations.

  • Radioactive||

    zero tolerance

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    "The student who reportedly intervened was asked to remain in the office to explain what happened but was in no way disciplined"

    That's like "I did not have sexual relations with that woman." No, we didn't discipline him, we simply called his mother and said he'd done something wrong.

    I wonder - if a student grabbed the principle by the neck and there was the sound a knife being readied, and another student saved the principal's worthless ass, would the principal have called the second kid's parents to explain how he had done something horribly wrong?

    I would give anything to watch the experiment be made. Or better still, to have the students who were bystanders to the assault on the principal sit around clutching their purses, refusing to intervene.

  • Brandon||

    if a student grabbed the principle by the neck and there was the sound a knife being readied, and another student saved the principal's worthless ass, would the principal have called the second kid's parents to explain how he had done something horribly wrong?

    After the incident was over and the principal (sic) was safe and comfortable again? Probably.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    I doubt this very much.

  • ||

    We can't have an escalation of violence. Better to let one kid get his throat slashed than not follow procedures.

  • Invisible Finger||

    You you see something, say something. Don't DO anything.

    Not the lesson learned from 9/11, but we can't have people being heroes without being in a government employees union.

  • Monkey's Uncle||

    ^^ This.

  • Inigo M.||

    Exactly!

    "Heroes" these days are authorized first responders. Anyone else is at best a potential danger to himself or others.

  • Free Society||

    "You got a permit for that heroism?"

  • creech||

    In Canada, a true hero is one who can fire the puck between the goalie's pad and the pipe.

  • ||

    Instead of getting a pat on the back for his bravery, Briar was made to feel as if he had done something terribly wrong. The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.

    WTF? I guess the police figured hey, why bother making a house call if you can't do some gratuitous snooping.

  • Radioactive||

    did they taser his dog? (no guns in CN)

  • Sevo||

    If this kid has anything between his ears, there's now one more person in Canada who is getting sympathetic to libertarian views.

  • Inigo M.||

    There is a libertarian party of Canada, you know. It's pretty small, but no doubt it's growing. For mainstream nationwide parties, you've got the conservatives, who are probably like a slightly more centrist GOP, the liberals, who are like the democrats in the U.S., and the NDP, which is like the democrats if Pelosi and the late late Hugo Chavez had a kid together and that that kid took over the democrats. With that to choose from, there's little doubt the libertarian party will continue to grow in appeal.

  • A Secret Band of Robbers||

    “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. That we ‘don’t condone heroics in this school.’ ”

    You get more of what you reward, and less of what you punish.

  • derpules||

    The police were called, the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.

    Welcome to the system.

  • Robert||

    the teen filed a statement and his locker was searched.


    For what, "heroic" things?

  • ||

    Comic Books.

  • Radioactive||

    gun shaped pop tarts

  • Agammamon||

    "the teacher was on the other side of the room and, as Grade 7 bullies are wont to do, one kid started harassing another."

    do Canadians teach in huge auditoriums? How far away would the teacher have to be to not be able to have heard the start of the altercation and intervened before it got to the knife stage?

  • Brandon||

    The teacher was probably busy properly not being a hero.

  • croaker||

  • SIV||

    Can Canucks carry knives to school?

  • Brandon||

    Apparently so, because if it was against the law there is absolutely no way this ever would've happened.

  • Inigo M.||

    Only the type of knife used to dress a moose or an elk, and only during moose or elk hunting season.

  • WomSom||

    Sometimes man, you jsut have to roll with it dude.

    www.WorldPrivacy.tk

  • Sugarsail||

    Any society that teaches its kids to not get involved and not be foster heroic qualities is doomed. Heroic qualities have always been what have redeemed, renewed, given hope to, and sustained any civilization, which is why there is so much folklore dedicated to the hero archetype.

    This is just one more attempt by liberal feminists to emasculate the good male qualities that have built our world. Shame on them. Shame.

  • Eduard van Haalen||

    Those Brits who passively stood around the terrorists who cut off a soldier's head, making no move to restrain the criminals but recording the whole thing on their cell phones, are presumably the role-models which the Calgary schools want their students to emulate.

  • Inigo M.||

    I thought this too. Shouldn't the crowd of Brits at least have restrained the two terrorists and given them a right proper stomping -- "A Clockwork Orange" style?

    Where are those drunken soccer hooligans or some Doc Martens-wearing skinheads when you need them?

  • ToiletsonIce||

    You are not to act without prior approval, in writing, signed by the principal, the superintendent, the mayor and the chief of police, young comrade. It is for your own safety, as we're sure you will agree after you attend meetings of your local Young Workers of Canada troop, which is not at all required but merely suggested if your future includes graduating from school.

  • ||

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  • PapayaSF||

    Death to spammers.

  • williamh||

    I'm Jacob Sullum's assistant. He needs a 750 word piece on something about the drug war being stupid.

    Your deadline is 11 am today.

  • Bean Counter||

    Reminds me of a scene in "Adventures of Baron Munchhausen". (Worth watching if only for the scene with Uma Thurman as Aphrodite on a half shell).
    Young officer who stormed an enemy stronghold to rescue his platoon was condemned to the firing squad because his heroics would cause the common soldier to feel bad about himself.

  • Doc Mike||

    Our young people are equally emasculated. As an older guy, back in school for a career change, I saw it firsthand. I was walking across campus on afternoon when I saw a crowd around a gazebo. There was a very small fire in a plastic cigarette butt catcher. I started to walk up to it, and someone said, “We already called the fire department”. Unphased, I walked my middle aged self through a crowd of buff 20-somethings, onto the gazebo, and dumped a half full green tea on the “fire”. Problem solved. They were dumbfounded that someone without a government certification could do something.

  • Radioactive||

    teh athorities will be around to see you about this, have your papers ready

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