A Toronto private school was sued over a student’s alleged sexual assault. The school’s name was kept secret until now.
Last August, the Ontario Human Rights Tribunal (OHRT) found that Sainath Sivakumar and two other students had been sexually assaulted at the Weston Road School in Toronto, according to a CBC report.
It was the first of its kind and sent shockwaves through the Indian-Canadian community. The judge’s decision made headlines across the country — from the Toronto Star to the Toronto Sun.
But when a CBC reporter filed a freedom-of-information request for the information he needed to discover the school’s name, he discovered something no one had reported: The school was run by Christian Science educators.
The Ontario Human Rights Code prohibits all discrimination and requires private schools to have religious, moral, social or cultural neutrality towards all students and faculty.
But a Christian Science Education Society [CSE] website states that Weston Road “does not use a religious framework for its daily operations,” and it provides all children with the “freedom to choose, in its religious beliefs, to live without the need for anyone to agree with them” and “to be as spiritual as they choose.”
The CSE also states that the school’s goal is to “provide an environment that nurtures each individual to become a confident, happy and responsible person.”
It’s against this backdrop that CBC reporter Rob Shaw sought the information he needed to report the school’s name.
By the time his report aired on Sunday, Sept. 1, the story had gone viral.
The story also led to CBC being sued for $1 million by its parent company, Global News. Global News is owned by Scripps, the owner of CBC, which in turn is owned by Rogers.
When a CBC reporter files a freedom-of-information request for the information he needs to accurately report a story, he often learns the story isn’t about him. But when it comes to a student who was sexually assaulted at a private school called Weston Road School, the report was about him.
The school’s name was kept secret
In July 2012, the day after the report aired,