The Whitehorse RCMP have announced the conclusion of their investigation into sexual assault allegations at a local high school.
In the end, no charges were laid against either the alleged perpetrator or those who police say posted threatening comments about him on social media.
According to a May 13 statement from the RCMP, they began looking into the allegations on April 14 after they became aware that the allegations against the male student were being spread through the school and the wider community via social media.
“An investigation commenced immediately and was completed with no charges being laid. The school assisted in this investigation to address the information being spread at the school,” the RCMP statement reads.
Police say that on May 7 they received further reports about another social media post containing the same allegations as the earlier one.
The May 7 post — identifying the school as F.H. Collins Secondary — contains detailed allegations of gropings and forced sexual acts as well as threats of sexual violence. The post provides the first name of the student who the allegations are levelled against. The post also claims that a teacher made inappropriate comments toward female students and that the school’s principal and vice principal were informed, but took no action.
The RCMP say they also investigated these reports including threats made against the male student.
“Yukon RCMP works closely with community partners and groups to support and foster community safety for women and girls. The focus of this collaborative effort is to collectively work towards the prevention of violence towards women and girls,” the police statement reads.
In the statement, the RCMP encourage everyone to report posts on social media which contain allegations about sexualized violence.
They also included information about community resources available to those experiencing violence. Victims can report the crime directly to the local RCMP or seek support and explore further options by calling the Sexualized Assault Support Line at 1-844-967-7275.
The school and the Yukon Department of Education said they have and will continue to provide supports to students at the school.
“Our staff treat all reported incidents and allegations seriously, and aim to work through a restorative process when all parties are agreeable. Concurrently, the school’s administration may implement appropriate school-based consequences when necessary,” a statement from the department reads.
According to a department spokesperson, when they became aware of the post, the F.H. Collins school administration and superintendent met with the RCMP, assistant deputy minister of schools and director of student services to review the allegations and determine next steps. A letter to parents and guardians of students at the school was sent out to address the issue.
Although they would not comment on the specifics of the case or the post and its allegations, citing their obligation to maintain the privacy of students and staff, the Department of Education spokesperson detailed anti-sexual violence initiatives which the school has in place and plans to continue with.
They said the school will partner with Victim Services with the goal of increasing access to supports to those who have had experiences with sexualized violence. Plans are also in place to offer workshops on consent to students and to work with the school’s council and counsellors to address the issues raised by the allegations and encourage a school culture that does not tolerate the kind of behaviours detailed in the post.
Contact Jim Elliot at firstname.lastname@example.org