After the mishandling of a 2019 sexual abuse case at a Yukon elementary school, Jeanie McLean, the Yukon Education Minister, stated she and her department are doing everything in their power to prevent the same issues that occurred in 2019 from happening again.
In February 2022, an external review found that the Yukon government failed to notify parents about an educational assistant who was accused of sexually abusing a student. The allegations made against the educational assistant were not made public until a lawsuit was filed.
The Yukon’s Ministry of Education’s 23-point action plan includes:
- Finalizing communication procedures for informing parents about school incidents;
- Creating an agreement between the Departments of Education, Health and Social Services with the RCMP on investigating child abuse;
- Required training on the prevention, detection and obligation to report suspected child abuse and suspicious behaviour;
- Developing a public service value and ethics code;
- Creating an advisory committee for parents; and
- Enhancing opportunities for public servants to work in different departments within government to reduce organizational silos.
The Yukon government stated that the incident was a real wake-up call and that the implementation of the plan will be highly prioritized. McLean believes that Yukon is now on the right path to addressing systemic issues.