Friday, November 23, 2018

OCDSB facing $25M in lawsuits over sex abuse at Bell High School

abuse education misconduct pedophilia rape

Victims and alleged victims of three former teachers accused of sexually abusing students at Ottawa's Bell High School are suing the city's biggest school board for a combined sum of more than $25 million, CBC news has learned.

Three new lawsuits were filed late last week and several more former students say they also plan to sue the Ottawa-Carleton District School Board (OCDSB) for negligence in the historical abuse they claim to have suffered from the 1970s to 2000s.

The board said it is "in the process of filing notices of intent to defend" itself against the latest accusations. It has filed a statement of defence in the case of Tim Stanutz, a former Bell music teacher who died in 2017. Statements of defence have not yet been filed regarding the other two teachers.

Former OCDSB trustee Pam FitzGerald said she's "concerned" by the size of the claims, but noted such lawsuits are often settled before going to court.

"So the final numbers are unlikely to be these kind of numbers unless they actually do go to court,"  FitzGerald said.

The claims name a range of damages including guilt, shame, humiliation, addiction, anxiety, depression and loss of enjoyment of life.  (more...)

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