WARNING: Details in this story are graphic and may be disturbing to some readers.
St. Michael’s College School has expelled several students amidst an investigation into alleged group assaults, one of them sexual in nature, that students say were videotaped and circulated on social media.
CityNews has viewed two disturbing videos that appear to show the attacks. In one of them, a teen boy surrounded by a group is naked from the waist down and appears to be sexually assaulted with a broomstick while his legs are being held.
In the other, a different teen boy is inside a sink in his underwear. Water is run over him and several students are slapping his bare skin.
Toronto police in tandem with the Child and Youth Advocacy Centre are investigating.
‘Toxic masculinity’ or a ‘brotherhood’: St. Mike’s alumni spoke with CityNews about contrasting views of their time at the Toronto institution.
St. Michael’s College School reported an ‘incident’ to Toronto police Monday, not alleged sex assault
On Wednesday night police warned anyone in possession of the alleged sexual assault video to delete it immediately or face potential child porn charges.
“Investigators from the Child Exploitation Section have been consulted and have determined the video meets the definition of child pornography,” police said in a release. “Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography. The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared with anyone.”
Police began investigating after CityNews received a tip and reached out to authorities for details.
The school said it launched an internal investigation that resulted in several students being expelled.
Students at the all-boys private school at 1515 Bathurst St. told CityNews that video of the alleged incidents were posted on multiple Instagram accounts before being removed.
A student said one of the alleged incidents took place in a school washroom, adding that teachers were addressing the situation with students in class on Wednesday.
The school told parents it addressed the student body in a “formal assembly” on Wednesday afternoon, and would talk to Grade 9 students who were participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day on Thursday.
“Given police involvement, and respecting the privacy and confidentiality of all parties, the school will not be making any further comments at this time,” it said.
A follow-up email to parents said additional support would be available for students who need it. The email from the director of student affairs said boys who need someone to talk to can approach any guidance counsellor.
CityNews has learned that the alleged assaults involved members of sports teams, as well as other students between the ages of 15 and 17.
St. Michael’s College released the following statement just after 3 p.m. Wednesday.
“This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct. The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour.
The school administration promptly conducted an internal investigation, including meeting individually with the students involved and their parents. As a result, swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions.
We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.”
Provincial NDP lawmaker Jill Andrew, who represents the riding that includes St. Michael’s College School, calls the reports of alleged sexual assault “deeply disturbing.”
“Every student should be able to attend school in an environment where they are safe,” Andrew said in a statement Wednesday evening.
“I join with my community of St. Paul’s in saying that sexual violence has no place in our community.”
Are you aware of any alleged incidents at St. Michael’s College School? Contact CityNews. We want to hear your story.
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With files from The Canadian Press