International student shares his culture
Sodomy threats at elite Winnipeg school
2 students expelled and another 2 suspended
Last Updated: Wednesday, April 14, 2010 | 6:49 PM CT
Police have become involved in an incident at St. John’s-Ravenscourt private school in Winnipeg. (Claudio Santistevan/Google Earth)
Two students have been expelled from a prestigious Winnipeg private school for allegedly assaulting fellow students and threatening to sodomize them with a walking stick.
The students had already been suspended from St. John’s-Ravenscourt, but a disciplinary committee took the rare step of kicking them out of the prestigious school, said SJR headmaster Stephen Johnson.
Two other students were also suspended but will be allowed to return to school after they serve a five-day penalty, said Johnson.
CBC News has learned that the allegations against the students involve threats of sodomy by older male students toward younger boys.
As many as 15 students were reportedly abused.
The older boys allegedly pinned down the younger ones on the floor and removed their pants. A walking stick was allegedly held near the anus of a victim as he was threatened with sodomy.
The school has not revealed the nature of the alleged assaults but recently contacted Winnipeg police. The child abuse unit has since launched an investigation.
The provincial department of Child and Family Services is also involved.
The school told the two students on Monday that they would be expelled, then gave them the option to appeal or voluntarily withdraw. The students chose to leave on their own and complete their courses online or by mail. School officials said the boys will not receive diplomas from the school, but rather a Manitoba High School certificate.
Neither of the students are from Manitoba; one of them is not Canadian.
Letters sent to parents
Two letters recently sent by Johnson to parents noted the suspensions were handed out last Wednesday, April 7, following an incident involving several students.
In the letters, which were obtained by CBC News, the headmaster urges parents to trust the school to deal with the matter appropriately, but to understand why no details will be shared.
The school says students and parents affected by the incidents will be offered counseling.
Police are also not releasing any details about their investigation.
The assaults allegedly occurred sometime in the fall but only came to light last week.
The school is located at 400 South Dr., on the banks of the Red River, in the city’s Wildwood neighbourhood.
According to its website, the school has 830 students in kindergarten to Grade 12, with boarding arrangements available for about 50 students.
The cost to board at the prestigious school, which dates back to 1820, ranged in the current academic year from $30,000 to $40,000 per student.
Tuition for students who attended the school but did not board there ranged from $13,000 to nearly $17,000, depending on their grade level.