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Staff attacked at Naujaat school

The Kivalliq was rocked as news of two separate attacks on staff members at Tuugaalik High School spread across the region this past week.

Reports out of Naujaat indicate the incidents took place on Wednesday, Feb. 26 and Friday, Feb. 28.

An architect’s rendering of Tuugaalik High School, which was built in 2016. Two separate attacks on staff members occurred in February. Image courtesy of Accutech Engineering Inc.

The Feb. 26 incident had a student attacking the acting principal, before a group of fellow students were able to pull him away.

Meanwhile, the Feb. 28 incident was reported to have been sparked by a classroom discussion on religion that spiraled out of control when the teacher said he did not believe in God; so he feared no hell, pain, nor retribution when his life ended.

Kivalliq News has learned a male student apparently took exception to the teacher’s opinion that there is no God, and allegedly told the teacher he would give him an example of what awaited him in hell and proceeded to drag him around the classroom by the hair.

The RCMP will not be laying charges against the two students involved in the incidents.

It’s not known what discipline the students will face from the education authority.

No teacher at Tuugaalik approached by Kivalliq News would comment on the incidents due to fear of losing their jobs.

Nunavut teachers are forbidden to speak to reporters without direct permission from the Government of Nunavut’s Department of Education.

One longtime teacher in the region told Kivalliq News on the condition of anonymity that teachers get next to no support from the GN when it comes to issues of discipline and a safe environment for students and staff alike.

The ban on speaking to the media is almost laughable, said the teacher, during an age when almost every student in a class can take photos or video footage with their cell phone or other electronic devices.

“I would bet a lot of money that most teachers at Tuugaalik are probably feeling more than a little isolated and more than a little unsupported right now,” said the teacher.

“I don’t have all the facts, but from what I’ve heard from a few people in the educational field, and from what I’ve learned through the media – the GN seems more intent on portraying this as a result of school shortcomings, as a whole, or those of the two staff members involved.

“It’s a sad day for education in the region and, I would think, a bit on the scary side for some teachers in the community, or even across the region for that matter.”