Suiting a Private School for Sexually Abusing Students

A Toronto private school was sued over a student’s alleged sexual assault. The school’s name was kept secret until now due to a privacy order, but for what it’s worth, the lawsuit says the…

Suiting a Private School for Sexually Abusing Students

A Toronto private school was sued over a student’s alleged sexual assault. The school’s name was kept secret until now due to a privacy order, but for what it’s worth, the lawsuit says the student is now suing the school for $30 million.

The school is called the High School for Public Affairs in Toronto. Its website describes the school as “an exclusive, international high school that was founded in 1876 and has the privilege to educate and train tomorrow’s leaders in the fields of politics, public affairs and education”; the lawsuit says the school “has historically had a policy prohibiting sexual misconduct of its students in accord with its mandate and by its own admission.”

The lawsuit alleges that the school violated the student’s privacy by failing to disclose to the student’s parents that the school had allegedly “secretly retained and relied upon” the police officer who investigated the student’s sexual assault claim “to help the High School for Public Affairs police department investigate student allegations that the student had been sexually assaulted by another student at the school.”

Students complained of inappropriate touching and unwanted sexual touching in class, the lawsuit says. The school “faulted the student for not telling their parents” and “sought to have the student removed from the school.” The student is suing for “the breach of her right to autonomy and control of her body and her right to privacy in her private education.” The student also says the school “failed to provide a level of due process to her and provided no meaningful response to her complaint.”

Suing a private school for alleged sexual misconduct in the classroom is a common strategy. In 2014, a Texas judge ordered the University of Texas at Arlington to pay a $75,000 settlement to a student who claimed he was sexually assaulted by a fellow student. The lawsuit also called the school “a public nuisance.” In 2017, the University of Virginia was ordered to pay $20 million to a young woman who said she was sexually assaulted by a fellow student. In August, the University of North

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