Review Committee

Immediately following events at St. Michael’s College School (SMCS) in November 2018, and in tandem with our Board of Directors, the SMCS Respect and Culture Review has been established to understand what happened, implement new protocols, and bring about positive cultural change. It will examine the traditions, rituals, and social practices of students at every grade level and in all areas of school life.

Our Board of Directors is leading the process, naming Mr. Mark Sandler as the Chair of the Respect and Culture Review committee. The four-member committee includes:

MARK SANDLER, Committee Chair
A lawyer for more than 38 years, Mark Sandler has served as counsel for or at 20 systemic reviews and public inquiries. He has conducted investigations for the Office of the Independent Police Review Director and the Ontario Civilian Police Commission, and is currently counsel to an independent civilian review into missing persons investigations in Toronto. His work has included serving as counsel for a systemic review on how to identify and prevent sexual misconduct in Ontario schools. The review’s report led to significant legislative changes. Mr. Sandler was formerly a part-time member of the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal and has lectured extensively on legal remedies to combat hate.

A Distinguished Research Professor of Psychology at York University, Debra Pepler is best known for her ongoing research on aggression, bullying, and victimization among children and adolescents. Her programs of research on peer and family relationships have been embedded in clinical and community programs. She is one of the co-founders of PREVNet, a federally funded national network to promote healthy relationships and prevent bullying for children and youth.

Ontario’s former Deputy Minister of Education, Bruce Rodrigues retired from public service in August, 2018 following a distinguished career in education during which he held several senior leadership portfolios including: Director of Education for the Toronto Catholic District School Board, Superintendent of the Waterloo Catholic District School Board, and President of the Ontario Catholic Supervisory Officers’ Association. In his capacity as Superintendent, Mr. Rodrigues sat on the committee for the development of the Safe Schools Act. As such, he was responsible for the implementation of the Act for the entire Board. Rodrigues spent 26 years as a high school teacher of math, English, computers, religion and physical education, and as a vice principal and principal. He has also coached at the secondary school and university level.

Called to the Ontario Bar in 1986, Priti Sachdeva practised law with the Ontario Public Service until her retirement in 2018. Her practice focused on areas of law affecting vulnerable people, particularly children and seniors. As counsel at the Office of the Children’s Lawyer, she represented children in court proceedings, including child protection, custody access, estates and civil litigation disputes. She also served as counsel at the Legal Services Branch of the Ministry of Health and Long-Term Care.

The committee will deliver its final report and recommendations by summer 2019. Implementation of the recommendations is slated for the start of the 2019–20 academic year.

Feedback from our community is an important part of this review. We’d like to hear from you about how we can improve and strengthen a culture of respect and positivity at our school to prevent these incidents from happening again.

Thank you for joining this discussion and sharing your ideas so we can shape our future together.

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