The Newfoundland and Labrador English School District is engaging in consultations with community partners to discuss what it perceives to be deficiencies in the process relating to sexual assault allegations.
The statement was in a letter to students, parents and guardians at Stephenville High School signed by Donna Miller Fry, the board’s assistant director of programs for the western region of the province.
The school board and justice system were criticized late last week for allowing a student who is facing charges of sexual assault to return to Stephenville High School where students he is alleged to have assaulted are still attending school.
In the letter, Fry said the school district is aware a male student of the school is accused of sexual assault with the charges concerning a female student, and possibly others, attending the school.
She said it is important to indicate, to the district’s knowledge, the assaults are not alleged to have occurred at school. That said the district and the school administration recognize the need to ensure student safety at school.
Fry said community partners engaged in consultation on the deficiencies in the process are: the RCMP, the Office of the Child and Youth Advocate, the Provincial Advisory Council on the Status of Women, the Public Legal Information Association of Newfoundland and Labrador and the Newfoundland and Labrador Sexual Assault Crisis and Prevention Centre.
“We have also discussed with these community partners how we can collaboratively develop a district sexual violence policy. This discussion has been progressive and will continue with other government departments,” she said.
Relating to the current situation at Stephenville High School, the district will continue its work to ensure a safe learning environment is provided for all students and will continue to collaborate with the school administration on this priority.
Fry said the district is closely monitoring the current situation and understands the student accused of the charges will not be in attendance at school.