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Officials at St. Michael’s resign amid sexual assault charges

They’ve reigned in an effort to “focus on healing and change”.



Eli Ridder | Report

The president and principal of St. Michael’s College School in Toronto both resigned on Thursday amid allegations against several students that include sexual assault. 

President Fr. Jefferson Thompson and Principal Greg Reeves share a desire to “move the school forward without distractions”, allowing the all-boys institution to “focus on healing and change”, said a statement from St. Michael’s Board of Directors.

St. Michael’s will seek new permanent leadership. But for now, the Board appointed a former teacher who taught science and physics from 2013 to 2016, Fr. Andrew Leung, as interim president.

Vice Principals Emile John and David Lee will take on a co-principal role for the time being.

It comes a day after the school said it stood with the leadership of Mr. Thompson and Mr. Reeves after some alumni had called for their resignations.

Earlier this week, Toronto Police criminally charged six students in connection with a sexual assault investigation, with other alleged incidents also under police probe.

‘Action plan’

The school outlines an “action plan” following the allegations of sexual assault at St. Michael’s, which turned a prestigious private school into a campus under the national spotlight for sensitive accusations.

The school will take “immediate action” to launch what they’ve titled a “Respect and Culture Review”, led by an “independent third-party committee” that will examine the “traditions, rituals, and social practices of students at every grade level and in all areas of school life.”

The Catholic school, that offers grade one to the end of high school, will be cancelling “all events involving external groups, teams and public performances” for the rest of 2018.

Instead of mid-year assessments, students will be part of “workshops and discussions pertaining to the recent issues”.

The last bullet of the “action plan” implements an “anonymous voicemail for students” for those enrolled at St. Michael’s to have a way to report “any inappropriate behaviours and incidents”.

Image of St. Michael’s from CityNews.

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