Calgary school board asks judge to dismiss sexual misconduct suit by former students

·2 min read

CALGARY — The Calgary Board of Education is asking a judge to dismiss a proposed class-action lawsuit against it, arguing that it's not responsible for alleged sexual misconduct by a teacher who died earlier this year.

Michael Gregory, who worked at John Ware Junior High School in Calgary for 20 years, was charged in February with 17 counts of sexual assault and sexual exploitation.

Police said at the time that several former students came forward with accusations against the teacher.

A few days later, Gregory died, and police said his death was not believed to be criminal.

Three former students filed a lawsuit last month against Gregory’s estate and the Calgary Board of Education.

They allege abuse by Gregory and claim that administrators and staff with the public school board were aware of the accusations but did nothing.

None of the allegations have been proven in court.

The school board recently filed a statement of defence in Court of Queen's Bench denying all allegations.

The statement of defence argues the plaintiffs were not within the care or supervision of the school board. But if there is a finding made that conflicts with that, then the "CBE was unaware of the alleged misconduct."

On Tuesday, the school board said it would not comment further since the matter is before the courts.

Last month, when the lawsuit was filed, one woman told a news conference that she first met Gregory when she was in Grade 7. Over the next year, she said, he took her under his wing and sexually assaulted her.

Another woman, who was a student of Gregory's in 1988 and 1989, said he "groomed and manipulated my trust into a very inappropriate sexual relationship.''

She said she told her parents what was happening and showed them gifts Gregory gave her, including jewelry and a book of poetry in which he had placed a baby picture of himself as a bookmark with an inscription on the back.

She said the school's vice-principal dismissed her accusations.

— By Daniela Germano in Edmonton

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 21, 2021.

The Canadian Press

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