School responds to closing of police investigation and additional charges laid
TORONTO, December 19, 2018 – Fr. Andrew Leung, CSB, Interim President of St. Michael’s College School, makes the following statement in response to the closing of the Toronto Police Service’s investigation and additional charges laid regarding recent incidents at the school.
“This is another painful and heartbreaking day, but also a necessary step in our school’s journey as we learn the truth about the terrible incidents that happened, and rededicate ourselves to both immediate and long-term change.
“We are grateful to the Toronto Police Service for identifying the suspects and concluding the investigation. We are committed to understanding why this behaviour happened and what led to it, and to putting measures in place to ensure it does not happen again. With last week’s appointment of the independent Respect and Culture Review committee and the release of our updated Action Plan, our resolve remains unwavering. The safety and well-being of our students remain our highest priorities and guiding principles.
“Our school community prays for everyone involved and their families during this difficult time.”
The school notes the following facts from today’s police announcement:
- The police investigated eight incidents involving SMCS football and basketball players, all of which occurred in the current academic year. They decided to lay charges in three of the eight incidents, all pertaining to members of one of the football teams.
- In these three incidents, seven boys have been charged. Six boys were charged on November 19th, and an additional one was charged today. The charges are the same as announced previously, but were extended to include two other incidents involving the same group of students.
- No charges were laid against any administrator, faculty, staff member or coach.
- The police investigation is now closed. In today’s news conference, the police inspector said the investigation did not suggest any trend that this is an ongoing or systemic problem at the school.
- The school is now able to continue and complete its own investigation into student conduct, which was halted to avoid interference with the police investigation.
More information about the police investigation is available from the Toronto Police Service website .
Last week, the St. Michael’s College School Board of Directors appointed an independent committee that will conduct a comprehensive review of the school’s social and cultural practices and related policies, with a report due by the summer of 2019. The school also released an update of its comprehensive Respect and Culture Action Plan.
For more information:
Michael De Pellegrin