The principal and board president of St. Michael’s College School have resigned amid allegations of assault and sexual assault by students at the institution.
The all-boys private school announced Thursday that principal Greg Reeves and board president Jefferson Thompson had resigned, effective immediately.
A news release cited “their shared desire to move the school forward without distractions and allow it to focus on healing and change after the horrific events of student misbehaviour that came to light last week.”
“Greg Reeves and Fr. Thompson have always put the welfare, education and formation of our students first — and they do so once again today,” said Michael Forsayeth, chair of the St. Mike’s board of directors.
“Having fulfilled their moral and ethical obligations to manage the immediate crisis and engage our school community, this courageous decision allows us to move forward with our goals: understanding how these events could have occurred, regaining the trust of our community and bringing cultural change to our school.”
The school has been criticized for not promptly reporting the alleged incidents to police.
Toronto police announced sex-related charges against six students earlier this week in connection with an alleged sexual assault.
The force is now investigating a total of six incidents at the Catholic school.
Mayor John Tory said the resignations were necessary for the school to move forward.
“This unfortunate series of events — There’s nothing about it that’s good news,” he said. “But I think the resignation of two of the top people is consistent with the responsibility that you take when you’re in a position of leadership.
“I think It also allows … a new chapter, so that you can put some new leadership in place. They can make sure that all the changes that need to be made are in fact made and learn the lessons from … a real tragedy for everybody concerned.”
The board has appointed Andrew Leung as interim president.
Vice-principals Emile John and David Lee will serve as acting co-principals.
With files from The Canadian Press