|"The teacher, 41-year-old Ryan McCombe, was charged by Toronto police in January and February for alleged assaults in 2008 and 2012 that occurred outside of the school and involved a 13-year-old girl and then a 16-year-old girl."|
A Toronto private school that was warned about the alleged "inappropriate behaviour" of a teacher more than a year before he was charged with sex assaults has asked parents to sign a code of conduct that some say is silencing them, CBC News has learned.
The Waldorf Academy's "Parent/Guardian Code of Conduct," obtained by CBC News, asks signees to "disengage from communication with fellow parents that place blame" and "refrain from 'third party talk', i.e., the passing of information, hearsay and speculation."
"We feel scared to speak," said one parent who asked not to be named. "It's like [the school] is saying, 'be silent and accept whatever we say.'"
Several Waldorf parents expressed concern about the code of conduct but did not want to speak about it on the record.
"Conduct deemed inappropriate," the letter reads, "will be dealt with immediately to resolve and repair the situation. If there is no willingness or effort by the parent to work constructively toward a resolution, the School reserves the right to terminate or decline re-enrollment."
The code of conduct was issued in a March 16 letter to parents obtained by CBC News that came after the teacher was charged earlier this year with sexual assault, sexual interference, sexual exploitation and possessing, making and accessing child pornography.
None of the allegations has been proven in court.
Well this sure sounds familiar. I think Highland Hall Waldorf School in California has a similar document that was issued when they had similar problems.
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The teacher, 41-year-old Ryan McCombe, was charged by Toronto police in January and February for alleged assaults in 2008 and 2012 that occurred outside of the school and involved a 13-year-old girl and then a 16-year-old girl.
But it wasn't the first school administrators had heard of alleged inappropriate behavior involving McCombe.
The school received a letter in September 2014 from an "unregulated psychotherapist" that described an alleged relationship between McCombe and one of the therapist's clients, CBC News has learned.
In a letter to parents, obtained by CBC News, the school says the "anonymous, historical, unsubstantiated claim" gave it "no legal grounds to terminate Mr. McCombe's employment."The school did not notify police and the teacher continued working at the school up until his arrest in January.
"We were shocked. It's like they were hiding it,"
a parent, who requested anonymity, told CBC News.
When asked by CBC News why the police were not notified about the letter in 2014, the school said it was advised by legal counsel at the time that the police would not be able to address the matter.
On Friday, the Waldorf Academy, near Bathurst St. and Davenport Rd., removed a staff biography for a man named Ryan McCombe from their website. The private school also removed a video of man of that name at a 2014 school barbecue from their Facebook page.
A Waldorf Academy staff member declined to comment when the Star contacted the school about the removed pages.
A Toronto private school teacher who was charged last month with sex offences is now facing more charges.
Ryan McCombe, 41, was arrested on Feb. 1 and charged with six offences, including two counts of sexual assault, one count of sexual exploitation and one count of making child pornography.
The charges relate to incidents involving a then-16-year-old girl that allegedly took place between September 2012 and October 2014 at a private residence near Yonge St. and Lawrence Ave.
On Jan. 7, McCombe was charged with one count of sexual assault and one count of sexual interference in connection with the alleged 2008 sexual assault of a then-13-year-old girl.
Police say McCombe, who worked at the Waldorf Academy near Bathurst St. and Davenport Rd., was tutoring the 13-year-old complainant when the incident allegedly occurred.
A Toronto private school was warned by a therapist about alleged inappropriate behaviour by one of its teachers nearly two years before he was charged with multiple counts of sexual assault.
The Waldorf Academy felt it could not legally suspend or dismiss the teacher after he denied the allegations and the Children’s Aid Society declined to investigate because the complainant was more than 16 years old. Instead, according to a confidential review obtained by The Globe and Mail, administrators decided to let the teacher continue to teach elementary-school children and to monitor his behaviour informally.
Mr. McCombe, 41, has been suspended indefinitely without pay, the school said. The incident, however, raises questions about whether the school should have allowed him to work closely with children, and even accompany them on an overnight camping trip, after receiving the warning.
|Might have something to do with hiding problems and silencing dissent.|