Terms of Reference

TERMS OF REFERENCE

Whereas:

(1)  Recent revelations have taken place about very serious sexual and physical abuse at SMCS. Some of these allegations have prompted criminal charges against a number of students. The criminal investigation by Toronto Police Service is ongoing.

(2)  These revelations are of deep concern to SMCS leading it to question the reasons that may have led to this misconduct taking place or what may have facilitated or encouraged it.

(3)  It is important that every appropriate measure be taken to prevent such misconduct from ever taking place, to ensure that a culture of respect is promoted and maintained and that St. Michael’s College School regains the trust of the community.

(4)  It is equally important that students who are victimized feel that they can report in a safe and supportive environment.

To ensure that these concerns are fully addressed, and that the SMCS community (teachers, faculty and staff, students and their families, and alumni) and the public have confidence in how they are being addressed, the Board is hereby appointing a four-person Independent Committee to examine these issues and make recommendations to the Board.

The Committee is to examine and report upon the following:

  1. The traditions, social and cultural practices and values at SMCS, past and present, that did or may have contributed to any alleged student sexual or physical abuse at or associated with the school, and what steps should be taken to change any such traditions, social and cultural practices and values ;
  2. What policies, protocols or practices exist at the school to address sexual, physical or verbal abuse, hazing or the recording of such misconduct, and what policies, protocols or practices should be created or changed;
  3. What policies, protocols or practices exist at the school to address the reporting of alleged misconduct to the police, and what policies, protocols or practices should be created or changed;
  4. What support processes are in place to promote the reporting by students who have been the victims of sexual, physical or verbal abuse, hazing or the recording of such misconduct, in a safe and confidential environment, and what support processes should be created or changed;
  5. Whether any additional measures are needed to restore confidence in St. Michael’s College School culture and values, and promote healing going forward.

The Committee’s mandate includes examination of every grade level and all areas of school life.

The Committee must ensure that it does not interfere with, or prejudice, any criminal proceedings. Nor is it entitled, in law, to make findings of civil or criminal responsibility.

The Committee is entitled to employ, in the exercise of its own independent discretion, such additional resources, including experts, counsel, social workers, as it deems necessary to fulfill its mandate.

The Committee is to report to the Board by the summer of 2019. In its discretion, the Committee may also issue an interim report to the Board in the spring of 2019. The Board shall make the Committee’s report(s) public, subject to redactions to protect required confidentiality.