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Former students claim principals were notified of allegations about teacher charged with sexual assault

Click to play video 'Former students allege principals were notified of allegations about Calgary teacher charged with sexual assault' Former students allege principals were notified of allegations about Calgary teacher charged with sexual assault
WATCH: Concerning new details are emerging after sex-related charges were laid against a former Calgary teacher. Michael Gregory is facing charges of sexual assault and sexual exploitation dating back decades. As Jill Croteau reports, some of his former students say not only did they witness inappropriate behaviour; they told school authorities about it – Feb 22, 2021

Michael Gregory was a former teacher at John Ware School in Calgary from 1986-2006.

On Thursday Calgary Police confirmed that 57-year-old Gregory is facing 17 charges including sexual assault and sexual exploitation related to a number of incidents while he was a teacher that involved six different alleged victims.

Former students have come forward to Global News with allegations they went to school authorities about their concerns decades ago.

Michael Gregory. Yearbook photo obtained by Global News

Lesley Plumley is a former John Ware student.

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“This is actually happening 30 years later,” Plumley said.

She said despite time passing, certain memories haven’t faded over the years, particularly ones involving former teacher, Michael Gregory.

“You sit back and you start thinking was there something more I could have done to help,” Plumley said.

Plumley alleges her friend was involved in a sexual relationship with Gregory. She said it got to the point the two friends had to tell someone.

“You have no idea, who do you tell when you’re that young? The principal,” Plumley recalled. “We went to the principal with the victim’s parents and they removed her from the class, that’s what we got.”

“I am livid and I am angry no one took her seriously.”

The principal at the time has since died.

Read more: 11% of female post-secondary students have been sexually assaulted at school: study

Another former student echoed those same concerns and said he was ignored when he revealed what he said he witnessed Gregory doing to his classmates. Dan Morberg was a student at John Ware from 1996-1999 and Gregory was his outdoor education teacher.

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“He’d be very touchy with them, just hands on shoulders and stuff like that. He’d walk up behind students put a hand on the shoulder,” Morberg said.

He said he confronted Gregory himself.

“I actually went up to him and said: ‘Hey Mr. Gregory I’m having a problem with this rope tying, can I stay after school and you help me with it,’ I didn’t actually need help I was just testing the man and he looked me up and down and he said something along the lines of:  ‘No I don’t stay behind for students like you.'” Morberg recalled.

He said the principal dismissed his concerns.

“He just kind of said ‘he’s been around here a long time, he’s been here ten years, I’ll look into it,'” Morberg said.

Global News couldn’t find any professional record of Gregory after he left the school in 2006.

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Experts discuss impact of COVID-19 court delays on sexual assault victims – Sep 21, 2020

The allegations haven’t been proven in court, but those who are breaking their silence said they hope the historic case can signal a new journey.

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“I hope this is the start for healing,” Plumley said.

The Calgary Board of Education declined to comment on the allegation that employees were made aware of behaviour.

“The Calgary Board of Education is aware of the charges laid against a former employee. The CBE has and will continue to cooperate with the Calgary Police Service during this investigation.

“We can provide no further comment as this investigation is ongoing.”