Increased police presence at St. Michael's College School
Chris Fox, CP24.com
Published Thursday, November 15, 2018 12:51PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 16, 2018 1:26PM EST
There was an increased police presence at St. Michael’s College School, students of which are at the centre of a police assault investigation, after authorities said they became aware of a threat on Thursday. The building was not placed on lockdown.
Several uniformed officers have been on the premises all day. Near the end of the school day, one officer was seen going into the building with a long gun.
CTV News Toronto’s Scott Lightfoot, who was at the campus, noted that police seemed to in “no rush.”
The school issued a statement to parents on Thursday afternoon saying the “safety and security” of students was the top concern.
“St. Michael's College School took the additional step of securing the presence of Toronto Police officers at the school today. Further, St. Michael's College School has secured the presence of security on campus for the foreseeable future,” the statement said.
The all-boys private school has faced some questions about its response to the assault allegations.
Police confirmed on Thursday that they learned about the allegations through information provided by the media and not the school administration.
According to police spokesperson Meaghan Gray, detectives began an investigation into the incident “after receiving information from the media.”
That account conflicts with a letter sent to parents on Wednesday by the principal of the school.
The letter stated that the administration was informed about “two very serious incidents” on Monday and “immediately began an internal investigation that included informing police.”
In a statement provided to CP24 on Thursday morning, Gray did say that police were contacted by the school on Monday regarding an incident separate from the one currently under investigation. She said that “advice was provided to the school and no further action was taken or received” in regards to the incident the school reported.
The administration has not released any details about either of the alleged incidents, but three students who spoke to CP24 on Wednesday afternoon did say that a student was sexually assaulted as part of some sort of hazing ritual recently. The students said that multiple students held down the victim during the alleged attack.
Graphic videos of the alleged incidents were then posted on social media. One of the videos, obtained by CP24 and CTV News Toronto, appears to show a student being assaulted with an object.
Police issued a statement about the video on Wednesday evening saying investigators “have determined the video meets the definition of child pornography.”
“Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography. The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared with anyone.”
Another video shows a student being thrown into a fountain, and slapped.
St. Michael’s College School has said that students have been expelled as a result of the incidents, which it has described as “injurious to the moral tone of the school and the well-being of our students.”
Most parents dropping their children off at school on Thursday morning didn’t want to speak to media about the incident. One parent did stop to berate the media for ruining the reputation of the school.
St. Michael’s College School says “parent/guardian-only meetings” will take place on Friday, where school officials will provide more updates.
Police continue to investigate the alleged assault.