The Department of Education is working with the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office on a policy review of its policies, protocols and actions in response to the 2019 charges and recent additional allegations of sexualized abuse by a former school staff member at Hidden Valley Elementary School.
The Child and Youth Advocate is reviewing policies, protocols and actions taken after allegations were brought forward and determining whether the actions taken follow established protocols. The Advocate will provide advice to promote safety and ensure appropriate processes are in place for the interests and wellbeing of students.
The review is being guided by a formal Terms of Reference that identify the objectives, scope and methodology of the review. Families, school counsellors, educators, representatives and employees of Education and Health and Social Services, RCMP, Yukon First Nations, Yukon Teachers’ Association, and Yukon First Nation Education Directorate and others may contribute to the review.
The review is expected to be completed through the fall of 2021 with a final public report and recommendations anticipated to be completed in early 2022.
There is nothing more important than the wellbeing, safety and protection of students when they are in our care. We share the Child and Youth Advocate’s interest in ensuring the policies and supports in place at Yukon schools are doing what they are intended to do – keep our children safe. We will be cooperating with the Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Office throughout this review to ensure it is effective. This is an important step in identifying any actions that can be taken to better protect students. We will continue to focus on supporting our school communities and ensure they have access to the right supports they need.
Minister of Education Jeanie McLean
The willingness of the Department of Education to cooperate with us on this review is an encouraging step forward in what has been a complex and painful affair for these students and their families. As we work alongside the Department, our intention is to keep the focus on the wellbeing of children.
Yukon Child and Youth Advocate Annette King