A Lewisporte doctor and his family are contemplating their future in the town following a school bullying situation involving his daughter that culminated with an assault against her this week.

Dr. Gerges Ambarak came to Canada from Egypt, and practiced in Montreal for 10 years before settling in Lewisporte in May of 2021 to set up a family practice with his wife.

He says while they have made a home in the community, they are distressed by the bullying that their 14-year-old daughter has endured—a situation he says reached a whole new level this week.

Ambarak took to Facebook, expressing his shock and hurt over the situation that he says both school officials and the RCMP are aware of.

He says his daughter has been tormented for some time, having suffered slurs and taunts, but yesterday he got a call from the school that no parent wants to get indicating that his daughter had been assaulted. “I felt this was the end of the world for me, to be honest.”

Ambarak says he and his family are going to take a few weeks off to give their daughter some space away from the situation, and to contemplate their future in Lewisporte.

Town of Lewisporte Responds

The town of Lewisporte meanwhile, says it prides itself on being a safe and inclusive community. It issued a statement today saying it “stands against all forms of racism, stereotyping, prejudice and discrimination as well as violence resulting in an unsafe environment.”

“The Town of Lewisporte prides itself on being safe and inclusive for all residents recognizing diversity contributes to our social and emotional growth as well as sustainability as a community. We are committed to learning the history and developing an understanding of the differing cultures in our community, creating allyship and fostering a sense of connection among those who reside and visit here.

The Town of Lewisporte strives to maintain a quality of life for its residents ensuring everyone feels welcome, a sense of belonging and an opportunity to live their best life, regardless of a person’s identity or intersection of identities including race, ancestry, place of origin, colour, ethnic origin, disability, citizenship, creed, sex, sexual orientation, gender identity, partnership, age, and status.

The Town of Lewisporte stands against all forms of racism, stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination as well as violence resulting in an unsafe environment. We support all individuals and families and continue to endeavour to eliminate such barriers and inequities in our community. We ask our community to share responsibil-ity, playing an important role in combating racism and discrimination and fostering equality and respect for all.”

-Full statement from Krista Freake, Mayor of Lewisporte.

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