Recent police investigations into allegations of assault and sexual assault at an St. Michael’s College, an all-boys private school in Toronto, have shaken students and parents alike.
Toronto Police Services say they are now investigating six allegations involving students at St. Michael’s College School.
Toronto police have charged six students in an alleged gang sexual assault at St. Michael’s College School that was captured on camera and shared on social media.
Police confirmed charges were laid against six students in response to an alleged sexual assault involving a broom handle that was recorded and shared online. On Tuesday, police acknowledged they are now looking into two more instances after receiving more videos on Monday.
Toronto Police Inspector Dominic Sinopoli tells me the first video is threatening, the second video is assault a weapon. In that video a boy is being smacked with a belt. No further details.
— Shaunacitynews (@shaunacitynews) November 20, 2018
The Roman Catholic school, which is known for its athletics program, has suspended all external group and team events for the rest of 2018.
On Tuesday, Toronto Mayor John Tory spoke at a news conference about the school’s culture.
“This is a school that has a great, distinguished history in our city, but sometimes it can be the case that cultures within organizations like that, not confined to that school or to schools in general, can fail to meet the accepted standard, and fail to keep up even with the changing attitudes, and I think in this case both things have happened here, clearly,” Tory told reporters at city hall.
“We’re going to have to look for as well is leadership from all fronts — from parents, from the administration of the school and from the community and the police and others — to make sure that we learn from this and that justice is served,” he added.
On social media, many are calling for accountability from the school’s administration given that the principal of the school, Greg Reeves, said he learned of a video of the alleged sexual assault last Monday but did not go to the police right away.
“We have a responsibility to keep our students safe, but our best efforts failed,” Reeves told a news conference late on Monday.
Hurray that you are cooperating with police once they showed up on Wednesday. Shameful you didn't contact CAS or police when you first found out there had been a sexual assault on campus. Please put your students first!
— Renan Levine (@RenanLevine) November 20, 2018
I just heard the principal of #StMichaelsCollege justifying why he didn’t report the sexual assault to the police as soon as he found out. “There’s no playbook for this kind of thing…” Yes there is! It’s called the LAW! It’s called the duty to report!
— ⚛️ Paul Vermeersch ⚛️ (@PaulVermeersch) November 19, 2018
1) The principle held on to the video for two days. That’s two additional days of sharing the video on social media. The victim could have self harmed in those two days as well. What a disgrace of a principle.When a child is violently assaulted you immediately call the police.
— Abbigail Gallant (@GGallant64) November 20, 2018
Others wondered about the perceived privilege being afforded to the alleged offenders, and the response some mothers had when members of the media appeared at their school in wake of the allegations.
Being rich helps. If we changed school names to Lawrence Heights, would there be bail?
— JO (@j_moose50) November 19, 2018
— Katy Cinders (@katcin) November 18, 2018
Some called for the school to put preventative measures in place to ensure students are always safe at school.
Ok, let's see it, #StMichaelsCollege. You have a real chance to show leadership here. Can you do it? Can you go to the source that enabled this? I left the Catholic church because of an institutionalized culture of abuse & secrecy & coverups.https://t.co/360IRGDjfj
— ChristineFischerGuy (@cfischerguy) November 19, 2018
But what steps are you taking to prevent anything like this from happening again? This is *not* the first time that a disgusting “hazing” incident has happened at St. Michaels. That boy will be emotionally scarred forever as a result of the school’s lack of action.
— Alexis (@TehraniAlexis) November 16, 2018
Hazing has been going on @ #StMichaelsCollege since foerever. husband went 2 high school there & had his genitals slathered w RUB A535 as a newbie hockey player. Terrible & affected him for long time Whats wrong with this school administration? #sexualassaultnothazing #chargethem
— Julie Powers (@dezinegal) November 15, 2018
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