Yukon Ombudsman Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner

Yukon Ombudsman

Ombudsman releases second report on Hidden Valley School

Tue, Feb 27, 2024

WHITEHORSE – The Ombudsman has released his second report regarding the sexualized abuse at Hidden Valley Elementary School (HVES). This report evaluates the Department of Education’s (Department) Safer Schools Action Plan (Action Plan).

The Action Plan was created by the Department in response to its acceptance of the Rogers Report recommendations; an investigation commissioned by the Department about the HVES matter. These recommendations were designed to improve how the Department handles serious incidents/allegations like the sexualized abuse of a student, and how to appropriately inform and support parents.

This second, and final report, completes the Ombudsman’s investigation of a complaint that the Department’s inordinate delay of 19 months to inform HVES parents about the sexualized abuse of a student was unfair. The first report substantiated this communications failure and our second report examines whether the relevant Department commitments (Actions) in the Action Plan meet the Rogers recommendations.

“Our investigation identified that the unfairness to HVES parents was due to a failure in procedure, accountability, and training”, said Jason Pedlar, Yukon Ombudsman. “The Department had guidelines, policies, and procedures in place to manage a situation like this, however the documents weren’t interconnected, staff were not aware or failed to follow them, and nobody was delegated the responsibility to communicate with parents and caregivers.”

Our second report reviews 19 of the Department’s Actions outlined in their Action Plan and found that less than half of them met the recommendations – eight fully met the recommendations, five partially met them, and six did not meet the recommendations or we were unable to determine due to a lack of information provided to us.

We provided the Department a draft of our second report in December 2023 with the opportunity to provide us comments for our consideration, as required under section 17 of the Ombudsman Act. The Department responded on January 31st, 2024, with additional information that was considered and where appropriate incorporated into our report. The final response from the Deputy Minister was that they formally accept all our recommendations “in principle”.

“I am pleased that the Department has formally accepted all eight of our recommendations, however, the ambiguity of accepting our recommendations “in principle” is a further example of the lack of precision found when evaluating the Department’s procedures”, said Pedlar. “My concern is that if our recommendations aren’t incorporated, there remains the real possibility that a similar communication failure could happen again.”

The Ombudsman has asked the Department to provide a revised Action Plan that addresses his recommendations within the next six months.


About the Yukon Ombudsman:

The Yukon Ombudsman promotes and protects fairness in the delivery of government and other public services. If a citizen and have been treated unfairly when engaging these services, we work to resolve the unfairness. The Ombudsman also works proactively with Authorities to assist them in delivering services more fairly.

The Yukon Ombudsman, Yukon Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Yukon Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner is an independent officer of the Yukon Legislative Assembly.



Tanis Davey
Communications and Outreach Analyst
Office of the Yukon Ombudsman, Information and Privacy Commissioner, and Public Interest Disclosure Commissioner

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