di Michelle Whyle
TORONTO - The news these past two weeks regarding the ritualized violence and gang assaults at the prestigious St. Michaels’ College students have evoke a wide range of emotions in all of us and left most of us speechless.
Reports about the school administration proceedings, the police investigations, the horrid details of two of the assaults have angered most of us to our core that it is almost impossible to sleep at night.
One can only imagine how the victims found the strength, resilience and courage they did to continue to attend that school after their attacks.
Why the school hasn’t issued and official public apology to the victims and their families is mind boggling.
Parents were interviewed by, and were upset with the media, creating a negative image of the school their boys attend.
Something doesn’t sit right here. All parents of those boys grades7 to grade 12 – or better yet 11 to 17 year old - should be furious with the school for allowing monsters and monstrous behaviours to go unchecked around their young boys.
That’s what has ruined the reputation.
Parents pay such an enormous amount of tuition. They hand over their child, to a school which first and foremost takes on the legal responsibility to keep their child safe.
That same school should be held accountable for allowing these monsters in and terrorize these boys to the point of staying quiet.
Parents have the right to be upset about the reputation of their school. The administration of St. Michael’s has done nothing to protect it. Alumni have mentioned that this culture isn’t new.
Parents should be demanding that the school administration and board start making every e.ort to ensure that their institution is a safe place for learning.
Parents of all students in this city are upset.
Where is the Ministry of Education stance on this issue? Staff needs to be retrained.
They are role model number 1 when it comes to stimulating proper behaviour, attitude and language.
The administration needs to change. These kids passed an admission exam or some standard protocol to enter that institution, even if on bursary or scholarship.
There was supposed to be a guarantee and check in place that each student be a good fit.
The system failed these boys. Those kids, unknowing and victims alike, deserved better. Alumni should be championing boys’ safety and not reputation control.
NO ONE should ever live in fear of being bullied, hazed or sexually assaulted while at school.
No child should be sent to a school where they need to look over their shoulder. No boy should be silence with the expectation “toughen up and be a man”.
More importantly, no child should ever have to live in silence because there is no caring adult for them to turn to during the day. That’s not part of what it means “to be a man”. The victims have suffered in silence. The boys who were unaware, are fighting to understand where they belong. Parents are at a loss.
The school has not done anything consistent with what St. Michael the Archangel represents. It’s time, publicly, for everyone to step up and help these boys. Teach them kindness, goodness, compassion, respect – what real men are and do.