As a school district, we are shocked and deeply saddened to hear the reports of sexual abuse that have surfaced about Jean Vanier, founder of L’Arche. This news is especially upsetting to us, given that one of our schools bears the namesake of Jean Vanier.
As a former Principal of Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School in Milton, I have a personal connection with this community and know that the staff, students and families will be greatly affected by this news. I also know that the spirit of love, faith, and service to others that has been characteristic of this community since the school has opened will continue. As a Board we will work with the school to support those who may be impacted in the days and weeks ahead.
We have received questions about a possible name change because of the revelations. At this point it is too soon to know whether a decision will be made to change the school name. There are a number of considerations that will need to explored, and conversations to be held at both the school and board levels.
Our thoughts are with the women who were victims of this abuse, with the members of the L’Arche community, and with the members of our own Jean Vanier Catholic Secondary School community who are hurting as a result of this disturbing news. We hold them in our prayers as they journey through their pain and hope that all will soon find peace and comfort during this very difficult time.
Director of Education