The year of 2018 has come with a changing landscape on how sexual allegations are handled, and while some claim that this year moves on some alleged abusers have been made too swiftly- the situation over at the Harbord Collegiate Institute and Toronto District School Board is the complete opposite.
Over the past five years, a Toronto high school teacher named Sean Gacich has allegedly been on the receiving end of numerous complaints as a result of "sexualized behaviour" towards students in the school.
The humanities teacher has continued to teach throughout the complaints of "inappropriate sexualized behaviour" that included him asking his class at one point in the year if "their parents showered together" and proceeded to ask how the "felt about that."
Students also claim that Gacich would stare at female student's "breasts and buttocks," and even drop things on purpose and ask the students to pick them up in front of him. It's gotten to the point where parents have said they "have modified their choice of clothing on days they have class with this teacher, and that they try their best to avoid being along with him."
Though this past school year hasn't been the only time the teacher has been questioned by parents and students. Five years earlier the same teacher was a subject of discussion after creating an assignment where students were to dress up as their given career and present about it- Dominatrix and exotic dancer were two careers that were included on the list of possible choices.
It ended up taking a group of 28 parents visiting the board and a Facebook group full of students sharing their stories to demand some sort of action against the faculty member for them to finally do something about the situation. As of now the high school teacher is on "home assignment" and seems to be relieved of his teaching duties for the semester after this letter was sent home to students in his class this semester:
One student who was in Gacich's class during the time the assignment was handed out, and is now in university noted that "when you're that young, you don't even have the language to talk about it." Underlining how crucial it was for the school board to act much faster and effectively on the allegations made by both students and parents.
The school itself has since removed their Facebook page and unless the information reaches the mainstream media, we won't be sure what ends up happening to Gacich until then. We can only hope that after so many years of averting their eyes, the TDSB can get to the bottom of the situation.
Source: Toronto Star