Fredericton, New Brunswick
Fredericton, New BrunswickiStock

A 14-year-old Israeli-Canadian girl attending a high school in the province of New Brunswick says she was assaulted last month by another student for being Jewish, The National Post reports.

The student, Shaked Tsurkan, told The Canadian Jewish News she was attacked by an older female schoolmate at Leo Hayes High School in Fredericton. The alleged assault occurred during lunch hours at a parking lot away from school grounds.

A video of the incident posted to social media showed a female student running up to Tsurkan from behind, dragging her to the ground and punching her repeatedly in front of several bystanders. The two get into a scuffle until an adult comes over after about a minute and breaks up the fight.

Tsurkan was left with black eyes and multiple cuts, scratches and bruises.

She said the assailant was suspended from school for five days. When the student returned, Tsurkan was advised to use the teacher’s washroom, stay inside the school building during the day and not to walk alone, she said.

Tsurkan moved to Fredericton from Israel in November 2022 with her family and began Grade 9 a few weeks before the October 7 Hamas attack on Israel.

She said her alleged attacker treated her in a hostile manner for two months, which culminated in the attack on April 30. Tsurkan said she was trying to avoid a confrontation with the older student that day, but as she got away from her, she was accosted and threatened by the student.

“We are aware of an act of violence that occurred among a small number of students from Leo Hayes High School,” Anglophone School District West spokesperson Paul MacIntosh told The National Post. He said the school administration took the incident very seriously and responded in an appropriate manner, which included calling on the local police force for support.

The Fredericton Police Force said they are aware of the incident and that their “Major Crime Unit is currently conducting an active investigation into the matter.”

Antisemitic incidents have been on the rise in Canada since Hamas’ October 7 attack on Israel and the war in Gaza which followed, though the majority of them have been reported in Toronto and Montreal, which have large Jewish populations.

However, the Sgoolai Israel Synagogue in Fredericton was vandalized in January, with multiple windows shattered.

New Brunswick Public Safety Minister Kris Austin denounced the vandalism.

"There is no place in New Brunswick for antisemitism. I want to express my support to the Jewish community and assure them our department has already engaged with local police to offer support and any needed assistance as they investigate."