College confiscates hunting knife from student

A Centennial College student has been temporarily suspended for having a weapon in his possession on school property.

The student at the Centre for Creative Communications Campus (CCC) was caught by security with a seven-inch hunting knife in his possession on Monday.

The student from the Game Design and Development program was observed entering the school with the weapon on his belt at approximately 12:15 p.m. Security was alerted and took immediate action and confiscated the weapon.

Yvonne Stanley, an advertising student at the campus, voiced a common reaction after finding out about the incident.

“I was surprised to find out that this student was actually able to get inside the school with such a weapon. I’m glad that no one was harmed and that the weapon was confiscated. It’s scary to know that this took place within our campus,” Stanley said.

Ellin Bessner, a faculty member at the campus, saw the knife and was taken aback.

“I saw the weapon and was shocked; it was pretty big and long. It was in a black case and I thought, ‘wow’ … I was then told he was a student at this campus and that it was on his belt. I heard that this occurred on the second floor,” Bessner said.

The college’s senior communications officer, Mark Toljagic, said the college’s code of conduct states that weapons are not allowed on school property.

“Security approached the student and asked that he hand in the knife. The student turned over the weapon, but said he was not aware of this rule,” Toljagic said.

Toljagic also explained that it is the school’s duty to report the incident (and others such as this) to police. He also said that this is the first incident of its kind at the East York campus which is located on Mortimer Avenue, near Pape Avenue.

“The incident will be reported to police, but once we report it they may or may not do anything about it, but the point was to make sure the student was separated from the weapon because it contravenes the code of conduct,” he said.

Ministry of Education spokesperson Jan Nguyen, explained that the Ministry’s response to weapons on school property include a police investigation and appropriate consequences.

She also explained that as part of the policy and school board protocol, all schools in Ontario must report any incidents involving weapons including possession.

“Our government has put in place a comprehensive safe schools strategy which combines discipline with opportunities for students to continue their education,” Nguyen said.

“Our safe schools legislation includes strong consequences for students who act inappropriately, but also programs for those students to earn their way back into the classroom and to complete their education,” she said.

According to Toljagic, the investigation is ongoing and charges have not yet been laid.