WARNING: This story contains disturbing content.
Toronto police are investigating an alleged group assault at St. Michael’s College School.
In a statement to Global News on Wednesday, police said that after receiving information from the media, “officers from 13 Division and the Child & Youth Advocacy Centre (CYAC) began an investigation into an alleged assault involving students at St. Mike’s.”
“At this stage, given the nature of the allegations and the involvement of young people, we will not release anything further.”
Global News has seen two online videos showing a group of students appearing to assault another teen. In one of the videos, the alleged victim can be seen struggling on the ground with his pants down as the boys around him attempt to sodomize him with a broomstick.
Originally posted on social media, the videos have since been removed. Toronto police issued a statement Wednesday evening saying the video content “meets the definition of child pornography.”
“Anyone who has this video is in possession of child pornography. The video must be deleted immediately and cannot be shared with anyone,” the statement said.
“I’m disappointed,” one student told Global News.
Global News contacted Greg Reeves, the principal of the school, who said the incident, “wasn’t sodomy.” He confirmed students were expelled after the incident. Reeves didn’t say how many students were expelled. Students and parents said at least six athletes were sent home.
The school released a statement Wednesday afternoon:
“At St. Michael’s College School, nothing matters more than the safety and well-being of our students. Teaching our students goodness, discipline, and knowledge in an environment where respect for others is paramount is a responsibility we take very seriously.
“This week, to our shock and dismay, we learned of two incidents that were in clear violation of our Student Code of Conduct. The school has zero tolerance for such behaviour. The school administration promptly conducted an internal investigation, including meeting individually with the students involved and their parents.
“As a result, swift and decisive disciplinary action has taken place, including expulsions. We are deeply sorry that these incidents occurred. From this unfortunate situation, we redouble our efforts to educate and promote respect for others in the school and in the community.”
The school said that given police involvement, it will respect the privacy of all included parties and will not be making any further comment.
It is unclear when the alleged assault took place.
The school told parents it addressed the student body in a “formal assembly” on Wednesday afternoon and would talk to Grade 9 students who were participating in Take Our Kids to Work Day on Thursday.
A follow-up email to parents said additional support would be available for students who need it. The email from the director of student affairs said boys who need someone to talk to can approach any guidance counsellor.
The school is known for its athletic program. Alumni include hockey greats Frank Mahovlich, Dave Keon and Tim Horton. Track star and Olympic hopeful Justyn Knight also attended the school.
Meanwhile, Toronto police said it only opened an assault investigation after being informed of the video by members of the media.
—With files from The Canadian Press