Hughenden School parent says son left school unsupervised, then suspended for problem

Written by ECA Review

A Hughenden Public School parent is very concerned about her son’s treatment at the learning institution after he was recently suspended from school amid rumours circulating that the RCMP are investigating an incident allegedly involving the teen.

It appears the incident also occurred on a school day when the student was supposed to be in class.

Tiffany Nickerson and her longtime boyfriend Jeff Duperron contacted the ECA Review April 3 as a follow-up to a story the newspaper printed last September. In that story, Nickerson and Duperron were concerned that her 15-year-old son being moved into Grade 9 was a bad idea.

The boy had years earlier been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), but both Nickerson and Duperron disagreed, noting the 15-year-old simply needed structure and discipline.

Nickerson noted she wasn’t aware until March 31 that Hughenden Public School Principal Ryan Duffett suspended Nickerson’s son for five days because of the boy’s alleged involvement in a serious incident that allegedly occurred Thurs. March 2, one month earlier.

Nickerson stated this was the second suspension within two weeks for her son, describing the first one as “nonsense.”

Nickerson noted that was the first she’d heard that there was any problem with her son missing school, that he had been leaving school at all and that apparently the principal didn’t know her son had left the school prior to the March 2 incident.

After speaking with Principal Duffett, Nickerson stated the principal informed her the school had an agreement worked out with her son that he could work on his own in a private area.

Duperron stated he was also angry at this bit of information as it seemed to him the school was letting the boy walk the halls all day and not attend class.

Tiffany further added community members were using social media to tell her the RCMP were investigating the March 2 incident, but she hasn’t heard from police or anyone else.

Duperron stated he believes that if the boy was supervised and in class, the alleged March 2 incident may never have happened.

Contacted by the ECA Review April 4, RCMP K Division was requested to confirm police were investigating the alleged March 2 incident. However, media spokesperson Cpl. Troy Savinkoff declined to comment, adding in an email the RCMP usually doesn’t discuss ongoing investigations, “…unless charges are sworn.”

On April 4 the ECA Review reached out to both Hughenden Public School Principal Duffett and Buffalo Trail Public Schools Assistant Superintendent James Trodden. By deadline April 10 no response of any kind was received.

Duperron stated he’s a bit angry about how the boy’s school situation has deteriorated, as at home he does rather well with structure and consequences, but school’s a different matter.

“Horrible,” said Duperron. “No assignments in, nothing done.” Duperron noted he and Tiffany were told last fall to leave the boy in school professionals’ hands, but is also angry that the boy doesn’t appear to be getting the supervision and discipline he needs at school.

Tiffany added that the boy’s schoolwork is, “…way behind.” He’s only passing two courses, Phys. Ed. and Social Studies she noted.

Tiffany stated Principal Duffett requires a meeting with her before her son can go back to school yet she feels she should have been kept in the loop long ago by staff about her son leaving school and not attending class.

Duperron stated he felt a lot of blame was being placed on the boy while the school bears at least some responsibility for not supervising the boy.

“They’re deflecting right now,” added Duperron.

Stu Salkeld
Local Journalism Initiative reporter
ECA Review

About the author

ECA Review

Our newspaper is only as good as its contributors and we thank each one who submits stories, photos and opinions. If you have a news item, photos or opinion to share please submit it to