Police investigating alleged assault at Toronto private school, students expelled
Chris Fox, CTV News Toronto
Published Wednesday, November 14, 2018 3:53PM EST
Last Updated Wednesday, November 14, 2018 8:37PM EST
WARNING: This story contains graphic details of a sexual nature. Discretion is advised.
Police are investigating an “alleged assault” involving students at St. Michael’s College School, which was reportedly captured on video and distributed via social media.
News of the police investigation comes after the principal of the school issued a letter to parents earlier on Wednesday, notifying them about “two very serious incidents that recently occurred on campus.”
The letter did not provide details about the incidents but said the “nature of student conduct in each case is injurious to the moral tone of the school and the well-being of our students.”
The letter said administration at the school was notified about the incidents on Monday and immediately began an internal investigation which included notifying police and meeting individually with the students involved and their parents. Police, however, told CP24 that detectives from 13 Division only began an investigation “after receiving information from the media.”
In a subsequent statement provided to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon, a spokesperson for the school confirmed that “swift and decisive disciplinary action” was undertaken as a result of the internal investigation, including expulsions.
“We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred,” the statement reads. “From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.”
Police have not released any information about the incidents, citing the “nature of the allegations and the involvement of young people.”
Three students who spoke to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon said that they are aware of a recent incident in which astudent was sexually assaulted as part of some sort of hazing ritual. The students said that multiple students held down the victim during the alleged attack.
Graphic videos of the alleged incidents were posted on social media. One of the videos, obtained by CTV News Toronto, appears to show a student being assaulted with an object.
A student who spoke to CP24 outside the school on Wednesday called the incident “severe.”
“I haven’t seen it (the video) – I’d rather not either,” the student said, confirming students at the school had recently been talking about a video.
“I have no idea who it is (the alleged victim) but I wish I did so I could talk to him and let him know that we are all on his side,” the student said. “None of this should have happened.”
Another student noted students were “horrified.”
“I’m pretty emotional about it, we all are,” one student said.
In the letter to parents, the principal of the school said that a formal assembly was held this afternoon, though the students who spoke to CP24 said that the specifics of the alleged incidents were not discussed at that assembly.
The students also said that as many as 10 people have been expelled as a result of the incidents, though that detail has not been confirmed by school officials.
Toronto police issued a statement on Wednesday evening saying the video “meets the definition of child pornography.”
“Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography,” the statement said. “The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared.”
St. Michael’s College School is an all-boys private school located near St. Clair Avenue and Bathurst Street. Annual tuition at the school is $19,500 plus fees.