St. Michael’s principal Reeves and president Thompson step down

Resignations follow criticism of how school handled alleged sexual assaults and arrest of six students

After repeatedly saying he had the full support of the school’s board of directors, Greg Reeves has resigned as principal of St. Michael’s College School, along with the school’s president Jefferson Thompson.

The school administration — and Reeves in particular — has been criticized for being slow in reporting to police alleged sexual assaults involving students.

St. Michael’s announced the resignations yesterday afternoon in a press release praising the two men.

“Greg Reeves and [Father] Thompson have always put the welfare, education and formation of our students first — and they do so once again today,” board chair Michael Forsayeth is quoted as saying.

Reeves and Thompson are cited as hoping their resignations let the school move ahead “without distractions and allow it to focus on healing and change after the horrific events of student misbehaviour that came to light last week.”

On Nov. 14, Toronto Police were shown video of alleged sexual assaults at the all-boys private school, two days after the school came into possession of it. On Nov. 19, six students were arrested and charged with assault, gang sexual assault, and sexual assault with a weapon, after a police investigation of the incident. Police say they are investigating at least three other incidents of suspected assault related to the school.

At a press conference on Nov. 19, Reeves said the delay in reporting the video to police was due to his time being taken up with expelling students and with helping the victim of the alleged assault and the victim’s family, which was his priority.

He told media the St. Michael’s board of directors was “in full support of the way I am managing the situation at this point.”

Vice principals Emile John and David Lee will take over as acting co-principals of St. Michael’s, according to yesterday’s press release. The board has also appointed Father Andrew Leung, a former science teacher at St. Michael’s, as interim president.

The school says it is launching a review by an independent third-party committee of the “traditions, rituals, and social practices of students at every grade level and in all areas of school life.”

It is also cancelling events involving external groups, teams and public performances for the remainder of 2018. Students are to participate in workshops and discussions concerning the issues raised in the alleged assaults.

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Posted: Nov 23 2018 9:09 am

One thought on “St. Michael’s principal Reeves and president Thompson step down

  • November 30, 2018 at 11:55 am

    Much as I am not surprised that this should happen at a Catholic boys school which emphasizes sports above all, I would not be completely shocked to find St. Michael’s College School is hardly unique in this experience. It is undoubtedly an issue kept under wraps at many another institution including private schools, public schools, hockey leagues and sports teams of all kinds.

    I am not saying all are guilty. But young male violence upon other young males is endemic in our society. The masculine equivalent of the MeToo movement may be needed to really get a hold on how widespread this problem really is.

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