The Grand Erie District School Board is investigating after a Grade 9 male student at Brantford Collegiate Institute suffered critical head injuries in the school’s gymnasium on Monday morning.
Harrison Eley, 14, sustained multiple skull fractures in the incident, said his father, Tony Eley.
“He is still sedated,” Eley said during an interview with Brant News on Tuesday afternoon. “He is resting comfortably. (Doctors) are still in a wait and see mode. They will see if he comes around (Wednesday morning).
“Thank you to everyone who has expressed their sympathies for Harrison.”
GEDSB spokesperson Shawn McKillop said the school board is looking into how the incident occurred.
“The student was pinned between a mechanical wall as it was reaching a permanent wall,” McKillop said. “It was reported as critical head injuries. The board is investigating this.”
McKillop said the incident occurred at about 9 a.m. during a physical education class.
“The student was taken to Brantford General Hospital and later transferred to McMaster University Hospital,” McKillop said. “He remains in the intensive care unit. Our thoughts and prayers are with the family at this time. Letters (about the incident) were sent home to parents and counselling services are present at the school.”
BCI principal Frank O’Connor said he can not recall a similar incident occurring during his 20 years as an educator.
“We’re interviewing the people that were there, including some of the students,” O’Connor said. “We are in contact with the student’s family and are trying to respect their privacy while giving as much information to the community, staff and students as we can.”
O’Connor said the teen’s condition is severe.
“Everyone is saying the next number of hours are critical,” O’Connor said. “The family is expressing concern for his friends that experienced trauma. I am in awe of their willingness to be concerned about others while being very concerned about their child.”
O’Connor said the moveable walls move very slowly.
“This is something that is so slow,” O’Connor said. “It proceeds at a pace where it doesn’t seem like it’s moving. Today, I want (moveable walls) to not exist. Nothing in my mind is worth having when a student is injured. But the reality is we need to find a way to have multiple indoor phys-ed classes in an indoor space.”
O’Connor said the incident has “set the school back.”
“We are in the business of educating students and providing the best,” O’Connor said. “It sets us back whenever one of our students is harmed.”