A Waterdown school principal apologized to parents following a morning announcement about the student dress code days after Hamilton police launched a sexual assault investigation related to the learning facilities.

Theresa Sgambato of Waterdown District High issued the letter Thursday night, saying the school regretted the timing of the notice reiterating the policy on proper dress at the high school.

“The timing of the announcement was insensitive to current concerns about sexual assault,” said an update for guardians on the research and outreach supports available to families.

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Hamilton Police Investigate Reports of Sexual Assault at Waterdown District High

Hamilton police unveiled the investigation Tuesday night and said the examination is related to alleged victims coming forward and accusing an individual of violence and harassment.

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The school’s acting superintendent, Gerry Smith, could not reveal any details due to the investigation, but said the person involved “was not a person in a position of authority” on the Hamilton Wentworth District School Board (HWDSB).

“We want anyone who has been the victim of an act of sexual assault or abuse to know that we believe him,” Sgambato said in his letter Thursday.

“For those who are survivors of sexual assault, please know that it is not your fault and that there is no time limit for reporting the abuse to the police.”

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During a media availability Thursday, Education Minister Stephen Lecce admitted that he did not know the details of the investigation, but said they were “concerning” and that “a level of sensitivity must be adopted” around the allegations. .

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“You know, optics are important,” Lecce said.

“I think words matter in these settings. But I also believe that action is the most important thing, and I hope that there will be a thorough investigation to hold those responsible to account. “

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Lecce did not directly respond to a question about Sgambato’s dress code announcement, but said the province has “zero tolerance” for incidents of sexual assault and would “involve the community, particularly students.”

“I am sure that many young women’s voices in that school would have a strong opinion, and I would always encourage the leaders of our communities to listen to the youth. I think they have really important recommendations for the government. “

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