Independent report criticizes Yukon’s handling of school sex crimes investigation


In November 2019, the report said police were notified that a child allegedly had been sexually assaulted.

The report says a former education assistant was sentenced to six months in prison and two years probation last year after being found guilty of sexual interference.

He says the parents learned of the conviction last summer when the CBC reported on a civil lawsuit filed against the school employee and the Yukon Department of Education. Since then, the report says seven additional charges have been filed against the employee after two complainants made allegations.

None of the charges or related facts currently pending against the accused have been proven in court.

Parents at the school say they discovered the allegations in July, more than a year after the initial charge was filed, when details of the civil suit were reported.

Rogers said at the press conference that the government’s response to the incident was insufficient.

“I think everyone knows something went wrong and it was publicly acknowledged by the government even before I started this review,” she said. “I find the government’s response to be inadequate.”

Rogers said the government properly addressed the employee-employer relations aspect by initially suspending the employee, but its communication response was a failure.

“What was not handled well, and what outraged parents and the general public, was the government’s failure to communicate the allegations and the fact (the person) had been removed from the school,” she said. “There was, I believe, a misinterpretation or an oversimplification or a misunderstanding of what could be transmitted and to whom and when.”

She said the government had failed in its duty to inform parents and the public about the issue.

“The real impact of the government’s failure to communicate with parents sooner has been a lost opportunity to provide them with the resources to help them talk with their children and deal with the fear and anxiety that comes with the learning that your child may have been sexually abused, or worse, that they had,” the report said.

Rogers said his report dissected where the government went wrong, “and, more importantly, I think, how to prevent something like this from happening in the future.”

The report’s recommendations include: implementing a policy within the Department of Education to deal with school incidents, including criminal allegations, and ensuring that school administrators, teachers and staff receive training on their duty to report and document suspected abuse on an annual basis.

“The best we can hope for is to learn from these mistakes and ensure that better processes are put in place to ensure families have faith in the public education system and its ability to nurture and nurture children. protect while they are in school,” he added. Rogers concludes in his report.

Silver said the review looked at critical gaps that need to be filled, but he said no one was responsible and there was no evidence of a cover-up.

The RCMP and the Ministry of Education have already apologized for the handling of the investigation.

Yukon Opposition leader says report an indictment of Liberal government’s handling, calls for former education minister Tracy-Anne to resign McPhee, who is now Deputy Prime Minister.

“This report makes clear what the vast majority of Yukoners already believe: that the current deputy premier should resign from cabinet for the mishandling of this matter,” Currie Dixon said in a statement. “As a former education minister, she is ultimately responsible for the inadequate response to this.”

This report from The Canadian Press was first published on February 1, 2022.

The Canadian Press

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