Parents anxious about safety after shootings at 2 Jewish schools in Montreal | #schoolsaftey

Parents say they anxiously debated Friday morning about whether or not to send their young children to school after shootings at both United Talmud Torahs of Montreal Inc. and Yeshiva Gedola in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough.

“It’s a rough time, I’m not going to lie,” said parent Michael Chriqui. “We wondered, me and my wife, if we should bring our six-and-a-half-year-old son who goes to school here, if we should keep him home.”

He stresses Canada is supposed to be a safe place — the very reason his parents left Morocco to come to Montreal.

“My wife and I had a very hard day yesterday trying to understand why someone would do that. Why would someone target an elementary school with kids just because they’re Jewish?” he said. “It should never be the case, regardless of what’s going on around the world. Our kids should be safe here.”

Others say they were grateful to see police patrolling the area near the schools to ensure the children stay safe.

“The kids are coming into school to be kids and learn, and people are trying to intimidate us, but we’re not intimidated. We’re a strong community,” said Guy Hazan, who has an eight-year-old son. “We’re not a violent community, and there are people trying to commit violent acts against us, and that’s what the police are here for.”

Montreal police (SPVM) spokesperson Jean-Pierre Brabant confirmed to CTV News Friday morning that the shootings have not been classified a hate crime.

“That could change by this afternoon,” he stated, adding investigators are looking at video surveillance footage to identify potential perpetrators.

The shootings were first reported to police Thursday morning.

The first 911 call was made at 8:20 a.m. when a member of the United Talmud Torahs of Montreal Inc. found a bullet hole in a door of the elementary and high school.

About 30 minutes later, police received a second 911 call about a bullet hole found in the door of Yeshiva Gedola, which also houses a daycare.

No injuries were reported, and no suspects have been arrested.

Thursday, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said she was “horrified” by the news.

“This is absolutely unacceptable. This is not Montreal,” she said. “Our values [are] to be inclusive, to be respectful, and it has to stay that way because this is what Montreal wants.”

Statistics gathered from Oct. 7 to Nov. 7 by Montreal police show there have been 73 hate crime incidents targeting Jewish communities in the city, as well as 25 targeting Arab-Muslim people, since the start of the Israel-Hamas war.

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