The girl who has been charged with stabbing seven people at Dunbarton High School in Pickering has a long history of mental health problems and was on a waiting list for a child psychiatrist for two years, according to the girl’s stepmother.
The 14-year-old girl, who cannot be identified under provisions in the Youth Criminal Justice Act, allegedly stabbed five students and two teachers at Dunbarton High Tuesday morning. She was charged with seven counts of assault with a weapon and possession of dangerous weapons Wednesday.
But the girl’s stepmother says the girl’s incarceration may be her best chance at getting the mental health help she needs.
“If somebody had done something before, none of this would have happened,” she said. “These poor people wouldn’t have been injured.”
According to the stepmother, the girl had a history of violent outbursts towards teachers, students and family members.
“There had been all these different agencies involved and each time we brought her to the hospital when she said she was wanting to commit suicide, that she was wanting to hurt somebody, they would just send her right back home,” her stepmom said.
The girl had lived with her father and stepmother in a small Ontario community before moving to Pickering four months ago to live with her birth mother.
According to the stepmom, the girl had been taken to hospital twice in the past year for crisis incidents where 911 was called, and “three our four times” before that.
“She has previous violent behaviour and the police did nothing but bring her to the hospital,” she said. “The doctors turned around and handed her back to us – no intervention, no holding for evaluation, nothing.”
The girl had posted a number of messages on a social media site her plans to commit a school stabbing, a desire to commit suicide, her struggles with sexuality and about being bullied. The posts have since been removed from the site.
The girl’s stepmother said she received the first call from the school officer after the stabbing incident Tuesday.
“Immediately I was ‘Oh my God,” she said. “I knew something would happen, I just didn’t know what. I didn’t know it would be this bad.”
She said the girl had been diagnosed with autism at a very young age, and was diagnosed with Asperger’s through a one-hour video conference.
“You can’t diagnose Asperger’s with an hour’s video conference,” she said.
She said if she had received the mental health treatment she needed earlier, the event Tuesday might not have happened.
“[The system] let her down,” she said. “They let us down. And now they have let down all these people she has injured.”
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