St. Michael's College School reinstating football program after hazing scandal

Aug 1 2019, 1:34 pm

St. Michael’s College School is reinstating their football program for the 2019-2020 year.

According to the school, the Independent Review Committee recommended the reinstatement and say the decision was based on “its extensive outreach and survey work and expertise in strategies to address bullying, hazing and related activities.”

The school said that it had originally deferred any reconsideration of reinstatement of the football program pending the completion of an internal investigation.

“However, the robust measures recommended by the Independent Committee address the issues in a proactive, effective and timely way,” said the College. “The Committee will be assisting the school in implementing these measures, including facilitating, working and meeting with the students and parents, to ensure the football program is restructured to help ensure a safe environment for the students.”

Seven students were charged after allegations of sexual assault and assault at the prestigious all-boys school surfaced in the fall of 2018.

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In November, the Toronto police became aware of numerous incidents that were recorded and publicly shared on social media.

At the time, the school released an action plan that included launching a Respect and Culture Review to examine “the traditions, rituals, and social practices of students at every grade level and in all areas of school life.”

It also announced it would be cancelling all events involving external groups, teams and public performances for the remainder of 2018.

The College said it is committed to working with the Review Committee to implement its recommendations. As well, the Committee will be assisting the school in implementing new measures, including facilitating, working and meeting with the students and parents.

“These measures are designed to ensure that all students who participate in the football program – indeed, in the school’s activities more generally – can succeed in an environment that respects human dignity and equity for all, free from unsafe activities such as hazing or bullying,” it said.