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Statement from Director Mike McDonald, Director of Education re: L’Arche International Report

On Saturday, February 22, we became aware of a report of the findings of an independent inquiry, initiated by L’Arche International, that may have an impact on not only our school district, but globally.

The report, received by the Federation of L’Arche Communities, disclosed findings connecting Jean Vanier, the namesake of Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary School, with inappropriate relationships that did not value or honour the dignity of those involved.

This news is upsetting to us since one of our schools bears his name; however, it is important to remember that the Jean Vanier Catholic Elementary School is not defined by its name, but rather by the dedication, support, and strength of the students, staff, and families that make up the school community.

At this time, it is uncertain what impact these revelations might have on the decision to have a school bear the name of Jean Vanier. There will need to be discussions held at both the school and Board levels while considering this question. We ask for our community’s patience and understanding as we seek more information that will define our next steps.

Please know that the L’Arche Foundation is independent from the actions of any one member. Their community serves adults with physical and intellectual disabilities and is rooted in values that recognize the dignity of each person, the importance of belonging in community, and the creation of a more just society.

We do ask that you keep all of those involved in your prayers.

Sincerely,

Mike McDonald, Director of Education