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The community needs to know (the victim) did nothing wrong. This was not an affair. This was not a consensual relationship. By law, she could not consent to this relationship.

— Crown prosecutor1

Child Sexual Abuse by K-12 School Personnel in Canada

The most comprehensive study of child sexual abuse by school personnel ever done in Canada, this study reveals the number and nature of sexual offences committed (or allegedly committed) against children by employees within K–12 schools across Canada between 1997 and 2017.

The information outlined in the report is intended to help schools assess and mitigate risk in their ongoing efforts to ensure the safety and protection of children.

He was my teacher and supposed to protect me, not hurt me…there were no boundaries with him, he blurred the lines of my understanding of what was appropriate and what healthy intimacy should look like .... My former teacher was so good at making me feel as if this sexual abuse was something I wanted and not what it was — violence.

— Victim2

Concerning Results

In June 2018, the Canadian Centre released results from the study, along with recommendations for school policies and practices to protect children. Some of the results include:

  • 750 cases of sexual offences against a minimum of 1,272 children, carried out (or allegedly carried out) by 714 employees or former employees.
  • 86%3 of offenders were certified teachers, but other school personnel were also charged, including educational assistants, student teachers, special needs assistants, lunch monitors, volunteers, secretaries, custodians, and school bus drivers.
  • 138 offenders had another position that provided further access to children, most notably sports coaches (50%, at schools and/or in the community).
  • Victims were 75% female (69% high school, 17% middle school, and 14% elementary school), and 25% male (69% high school, 20% middle school, and 11% elementary school).

Read the Report

Read the published study in the Journal of Child Sexual Abuse.

Recommendations for Change

The findings in this report underscore the critical need for more to be done to protect children in schools across Canada. As such, the Canadian Centre has provided the following recommendations:

  1. Disciplinary decisions by the bodies responsible for the certification of teachers need to be made publically available in every province and territory. Currently Ontario and B.C., and Saskatchewan as of 2017, are the only provinces in Canada that do so. Parents should have the right to know about any professional misconduct by the people with privileged access to their children.
  2. Training and education on child sexual abuse prevention, beyond the statutory duty to report, should be made mandatory for all educators and school personnel.
  3. Standards for accountability and transparency should be set by all school boards, including policies and practices for bringing forward and responding to inappropriate behaviour and boundary violations.

  1. Source: Court statement. McIntyre, M. “Former high school gym teacher gets 4 years for sexually exploiting student” (2016, January 21), Winnipeg Free Press. Retrieved from https://www.winnipegfreepress.com/local/former-high-school-gym-teacher-gets-4-years-for-sexually-exploiting-student-366105121.html.
  2. Source: Brait, E. “Toronto teacher pleads guilty to sex offences involving minors” (2017, December 14), The Star.com. Retrieved from https://www.thestar.com/news/crime/2017/03/09/toronto-teacher-pleads-guilty-to-sex-offences-involving-minors.html.
  3. See the Executive Summary for a breakdown of all included statistics.

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