Tuesday, November 27, 2018

'I was cut, bruised and scraped': UCC graduate says he was devastated by hazing ritual at elite boys school

abuse accountability boys bullying educatiion violence youth

A former Upper Canada College student who claims he was sexually assaulted by fellow students at the prestigious Toronto private school more than 30 years ago says the recent allegations at St. Michael's College School have prompted him to go public.

"I think the more people that are able to speak out about it shines a light on the things that happen and makes it easier for other people who have been through it to come forward," said Stuart Cowan, who is in his 50s today.

Police laid criminal charges last week against six students in connection with an alleged gang sexual assault at St. Michael's College School, an all-boys private Catholic school in Toronto. The principal and president of the school have resigned.

Cowan attended UCC in the 1970s and 80s. He described the environment as "dog eat dog" and said bullying was rampant throughout the elite, all-boys school.

He said he excelled academically and was an accomplished athlete, playing on the football and hockey teams. Still, he said, he was more of a non-conformist, didn't want to belong to a clique, which made him a target for bullying.

"Constant name-calling, physical attacks, grabbing your backpack, stealing your lunch, you know, Movie of the Week kind of stuff," he said.

He said, for him, turning to teachers for help wasn't really an option, as he witnessed many of them exhibiting similar bullying behaviour, name-calling and picking on students.  (more...)


One may note that St. Mike's and UCC are located near to each other and serve substantially the same population. It shouldn't be surprising to find the same culture at both schools.

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