Toronto

St. Michael's board stands by school's leadership amid investigations

The board of directors at a Toronto private school that was rocked last week by allegations of assault and sexual assault among the students says it is united in support of the school's leadership.

President, principal have ‘highest integrity,’ board says in statement

The board at St. Michael's College School expressed support for principal Greg Reeves, seen here, and president Jefferson Thompson in a statement Wednesday. (Christopher Katsarov/Canadian Press)

The board of directors at a Toronto private school that was rocked last week by allegations of assault and sexual assault among the students says it is united in support of the school's leadership.

Principal Greg Reeves and president Jefferson Thompson "were hired because of their dedication and care for students throughout their careers," the board of directors of St. Michael's College School said in a statement Wednesday afternoon.

"They continue to have the full support of the Board for how this situation is being handled. They are both men of the highest integrity and continue to have our trust to lead us forward."

Police are investigating six cases that involve students of the all-boys Roman Catholic school, which teaches Grades 7 to 12. Some of the incidents were captured on video and shared online. Police and the school have said two of the six cases involved an alleged sexual assault. 

Reeves in particular has been criticized for not going to police sooner.

He told reporters Monday he wanted to protect the victim and, at a meeting for alumni on Tuesday evening, said he "would do exactly the same thing."

The school was rocked last week by allegations of assault and sexual assault among the students. (Paul Smith/CBC)

'Utterly failed'

Adam Boni, who went to St. Michael's in the '80s, was one of a handful of alumni at that meeting who called for the school's senior administration to resign. 

"We need to have true admissions of responsibility that the school should take steps to assure the community, it's immediate community and the community at large that they're actually dealing with the problem," Boni told CBC News. 

"If all of these allegations are true — some or all — my concern is that the school has utterly failed." 

"This was not the school that I attended, and the first question that I thought is how did this happen? When did this all start to go so wrong?" he said

The school in an email Wednesday said that mid-year assessments, co-curricular programs and several other events at the school would be cancelled or rescheduled.  

Police also visited classrooms Wednesday to let students know their role in the building and to ensure students felt comfortable with their presence, the school added.

Alumnus Adam Boni says he was completely shocked by the allegations. (CBC)

With files from Olivia Stefanovich and Desmond Brown

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