MONTREAL — A 16-year-old boy was arrested on Thursday after allegedly stabbing a teacher in a Montreal high school classroom.
Montreal police said the incident occurred at about 10 a.m. at John F. Kennedy High School in the city's north-end St-Michel neighbourhood, when the suspect stabbed the teacher in the upper body with what they described as a "sharp object."
The teacher, a man in his 40s, was taken to hospital with injuries that are not considered life-threatening. While police originally described the injuries as superficial, the school board later said the teacher had undergone surgery.
Police spokesman Jean-Pierre Brabant said the teen was arrested near the school soon after the incident and was being questioned by investigators early Thursday afternoon.
Michael Cohen, a spokesman for the English Montreal School Board, said a Grade 9 student entered an art teacher's classroom "unprovoked" and allegedly attacked the 41-year-old in full view of the horrified students.
"He entered the classroom, took out a knife and stabbed him twice," Cohen said. He said the suspect is one of the teacher's students but wasn't in the class that was being taught at that moment.
The suspect then fled the school without his winter coat, and witnesses called 911, Cohen said.
Brabant added the school was briefly locked down while police tracked down the suspect, but that order was lifted soon after.
Cohen said the school board brought a trauma team to the school to offer counselling to anyone affected, especially the students who witnessed the incident.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said he was shocked by the event, which happened in his riding of Papineau.
"My thoughts are with the John F. Kennedy High School community and, in particular, the teacher who was stabbed this morning," he wrote on Twitter.
"I’m wishing him a full and fast recovery, and I’d like to thank the authorities who responded so quickly."
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante wrote on Twitter that her thoughts were with the teacher and the school. "This violent event shakes all of us," she wrote. "The investigation continues."
Quebec Education Minister Jean-François Roberge also reacted on Twitter to what he described as an "odious act," and said the government was offering its full support to the school and the school board.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 9, 2021.
The Canadian Press