MIDLAND, ONT. -- Student conduct has come into question in a Midland community with reports of some high schoolers disregarding COVID-19 protocols.

The students gather at coffee shops and strip malls, and Midland Mayor Stewart Strathearn says their behaviour generates negative complaints.

"Congregating, no social distancing, no masks, offensive language, pushing and shoving," the mayor lists.

Strathearn is asking the police for help with the issue, suggesting individuals should be charged for disregarding public health safety measures.

"We need to come together to make sure students understand these things take a graduated approach, but for those who persist, there will be penalties," the mayor says.

Students at St. Theresa's Catholic High School receive regular safety messages from school staff, says principal George Luck.

And while the principal says discipline is one approach, he admits he prefers to give students moral support through what has been a difficult year.

"Mentally, physically, emotionally, spiritually, all of it," says Luck. "I think that needs to be encouraged, and we need to keep reinforcing that positivity with everyone. We keep that up, and we will get through this."

The OPP's community safety officer says the student's behaviour is an ongoing situation but may not be as bad as some perceive it.

"We are working together with the schools to address any issues that come up, but I see kids everyday inside and outside the school on and off school property wearing their masks," says Const. Aaron Coulter.

Coulter says for those who don't heed COVID safety measures, "we are working to promote changes among those, but by and large, they are doing a great job."

Still, the mayor wants something done and says the issue isn't limited to students from St. Theresa's school. Strathearn says he's also heard concerns about student behaviour outside the public high school.