Canadian high school student Briar MacLean may have saved a classmate from a bully with a knife, but his mother says the 13-year-old was unfairly disciplined by his school for playing hero.
According to Canada's Sun News, MacLean "broke up a fight that could've turned into a stabbing" at his Calgary school last Tuesday, but instead of getting praise for his efforts, he was sent to the principal's office at Sir John A. Macdonald School.
"The [bully] put [the victim] in a headlock, and then he pulled out his switch-knife... and then I came in and pushed him into the wall," MacLean told Sun News in an interview last week.
Administrators held MacLean in the school office while police were called, according to the National Post. Police took a statement from MacLean, then searched his locker.
No charges have been pressed, but according to a statement released by the school last Friday, two students, including the bully, were suspended following the incident.
“It is not recommended that students intervene in incidents such as this to ensure their own safety," principal Michael Bester wrote in the statement. "While we’d rather avoid events such as this, they do occur at schools across our city. We want to assure you that we took every step in this situation to keep students and staff at the school safe."
Leah O'Donnell, MacLean's mother, told National Post that she received a phone call from the school's vice principal the day of the incident informing her that the school does not "condone heroics" and that her son should have sought out a teacher's help.
“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,’” O'Donnell told National Post.
Although the investigation is ongoing, police confirmed that a knife was involved in the fight.
In a studio interview on the Sun News program Byline, MacLean told host Brian Lilley that he wants to be a police officer when he grows up. He said he was "shocked" that he was reprimanded "seeing as [he] could have just prevented someone from being in the hospital."
In March, a Florida high school student was suspended after reportedly disarming a peer who brought a gun onto a school bus.
"It's dumb," the suspended student told WFTX at the time. "How they going to suspend me for doing the right thing?"
Official later said that the 16-year-old, whose identity was not revealed, was suspended because he refused to cooperate with a police investigation of the incident. The boy's mother told the station that she though her son wouldn't help the police because he was "born and raised" not to "snitch."