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Furor erupts over refugee bullying story in Halifax

April 11, 2016

By National Observer |

A story citing allegations of choking and bullying by refugee elementary students against non-refugees in Halifax was taken offline Sunday and on Monday drew an angry message from the Halifax Regional School Board superintendent.

The story which appeared in the weekend edition of the Halifax Chronicle-Herald was quickly picked up by conservative websites, including Ezra Levant’s The Rebel.

But on Sunday the newspaper posted that the story had been removed, saying the article was incomplete and needed more work.

“I was deeply offended to see the school represented so inaccurately,” wrote Elwin LeRoux, superintendent of the Halifax School Board.

“As a society, we all have an ongoing responsibility to understand and work toward eliminating all forms of discrimination. We look to our community partners, including those in the media, to help support our efforts.,” LeRoux wrote.

“How can we do this? We can start by not stereotyping – a school, a group of people or a community.”

LeRoux said he has spoken directly to Sarah Dennis, owner of the Chronicle Herald.

“I told her that the accusations, the language and the tone of the article were both harmful and hurtful to students, staff and the community of Chebucto Heights – and to our entire school system. They’re also not true.”

Dennis could not be reached for comment.

In its note to readers the paper said that its story Saturday has drawn the wrath of many of its readers, particularly online.

“It was based on two parents’ allegations of physical bullying and threatening behaviour by some of the children who recently arrived with refugee families,” said the note, which added the school cited in the article had had an influx of new students in recent weeks.

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