Officials are investigating a “disturbing” video that was widely shared among Patrick Fogarty Catholic Secondary School (PF) students and staff earlier this week.
Both the Simcoe Muskoka Catholic District School Board (SMCDSB) and Orillia OPP are investigating the video that appears to show a man watching pornography in a staff room at PF late in the evening after regular school hours.
In a statement to staff, students and parents on Tuesday, principal Brian McKenzie said the video was AirDropped onto the devices of students and staff at the school.
“Please know that we take matters such as these seriously, and we have engaged the ICT security analyst from our board to look into this matter further,” he said. “In addition, we are completing an internal investigation to determine who the person in the video is, as well as who is responsible for recording and distributing the video.”
In his statement, McKenzie also addressed the ongoing rumour the man in the video was him.
“I want to very clearly put the rumour to rest that the person recorded in the video is me — this is categorically untrue,” he said. “We are asking that everyone stop spreading rumours and speculation about this incident.”
In a statement to OrilliaMatters on Thursday, McKenzie said the incident is “extremely upsetting” for the school community.
“The disturbing content of the video and how it was so widely circulated amongst staff and students is a cause of great concern for all of us,” he said. “PF is proud of fostering a close-knit, positive and caring environment, and we don’t want this incident to take away from that.”
Scot Gorecki, superintendent of student achievement and learning with the SMCDSB, says a board-level investigation, including the involvement of third-party authorities, is ongoing.
“The safety of our students is of utmost importance, and we are committed to getting the answers that we need in order to respond appropriately,” he said. “We follow due process and apply the appropriate consequences, which will reflect the seriousness of the matter.”
Orillia OPP Const. Derek Tilley says police had also begun investigating the incident as of Thursday afternoon. He didn’t have any further details.