Skip to content

Parent says bear spray incident at Okotoks school was no accident

A parent of Westmount School student is looking for answers after bear spray was discharged in a classroom on Monday.
Okotoks Fire & Rescue responds to Westmount School in Okotoks following a bear spray incident on May 13.

A parent of a Westmount School student is looking for answers after bear spray was discharged in a classroom earlier this week. 

The incident occurred inside the K-9 school in Okotoks at about 9 a.m. on May 13.

Foothills School Division initially said the incident was accidental, and for privacy reasons, did not release the number of students affected. 

Adam Northcott said his son, who was in the Grade 7 classroom at the incident, was sprayed with bear spray on his hands, arms and face. 

"My son's been a victim of a violent crime, Northcott said. “He had a full can of bear spray unloaded on him.” 

Northcott said the incident started when another student was being disruptive during the singing of the national anthem, and his son asked the other student to be quiet. 

That’s when the other student reached into his backpack, pulled out the bear spray and discharged it, Northcott said. 

He said there was not a teacher in the classroom at the time. 

“In an effort to save other kids from getting sprayed, my son stepped forward to the back of the classroom and set toward the assailant with his hand out,” Northcott said. 

EMS, Okotoks Fire & Rescue and RCMP attended the school where affected students were relocated to a safe area and assessed. 

Following the incident, Northcott said his son is “pretty shaken up.” 

RCMP are investigating and said in a statement that suspects have been identified. 

Northcott said his family was not contacted by the school or by the Foothills School Division, other than getting an email about the incident that was sent to all families with children at the school. 

“I wanted them to show some sort of care, remorse, anything,” Northcott said. “That hasn’t happened.” 

He's asking for the story to be set straight and for accountability from the school, including an apology to his son. He said he plans to pursue legal procedures against the alleged perpetrator.

Citing an ongoing investigation, Foothills School Division said it will not be sharing any new information at this time.

Robert Korotyszyn

About the Author: Robert Korotyszyn

Robert Korotyszyn covers Okotoks and Foothills County news for and the Western Wheel newspaper. For story tips contact [email protected]
Read more


push icon
Be the first to read breaking stories. Enable push notifications on your device. Disable anytime.
No thanks