The English School District condemns racism in any form.

The school district says it cannot comment on specific instances so as not to jeopardize personal privacy or ongoing investigations, but it “strives to make every school a safe space” for all students.

VOCM News reached out to the school district in light of a recent incident in Lewisporte that resulted in an assault charge laid against a student.

The father of the alleged victim, Dr. Gerges Ambarak, who runs a local family practice with this wife, took to Facebook to express his pain over the incident. He and his family are taking a break to contemplate their future in Lewisporte – resulting in an outpouring of support from across the province.

The English School District says one of the most important lessons they teach is to instill in students “respect for others, and for themselves.”

Premier Andrew Furey even reached out. Furey admits the situation is distressing but says that incident aside, the province has a long history of welcoming foreign doctors and their families. Overall, he calls Newfoundland and Labrador a welcoming place for newcomers.

“We welcome people here,” says Furey, “and we will continue to welcome people here.” He says the single thing that keeps coming up time and again in terms of keeping people here is the welcoming nature of the province. “I don’t think that has changed in any way, shape or form, by one particular incident.

NL Health Services and Newfoundland and Labrador’s Medical Association have likewise released statements condemning racisim and expressing their concern over the incident.

NL’s Health Services sent a release stating that it “expresses its concern regarding reports of racism, discrimination and abuse coming out of the Lewisporte area, adding they “believe that everyone, physicians, employees, volunteers, students, patients and families, deserve to be supported, welcomed and treated with respect and dignity. As a provincial health authority, we firmly reject all forms of racism and are resolute in our pursuit of equitable and inclusive environments for all.”

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