Concerns are mounting after parents in Sunderland learned that a convicted sex offender may be living with a new staff member at the village’s public school.
More than 40 residents in the area of Antioch Court attended a community meeting Tuesday (Aug. 25) evening regarding Thomas Grieve, a former teacher in Whitby who was accused of sexually assaulting more than a dozen of his students from 2010 to 2018.
Grieve, who used to live in Scugog Township, was convicted last September of 16 counts of sexual assault and sexual interference. He was sentenced to 720 days in jail on Jan. 7.
During the sentencing hearing, the judge reportedly noted that Grieve “did not express a murmur of remorse” as the trial unfolded.
He was released from custody a day later (Jan. 8) pending an appeal of that conviction, according to court officials in Oshawa.
While several conditions were imposed upon his release, none specifically deal with living in close proximity to a school or park.
According to neighbours, Grieve moved to Sunderland with his partner – rumoured to be a new teacher at the school – in late April or early May.
A flyer with that information has been posted publicly and circulated to residents throughout the village, encouraging residents to contact the school and board officials.
Heather Mundy – the superintendent of education for Brock, Uxbridge and Scugog schools – sent a message to some parents on Wednesday (Aug. 26).
“It has recently come to my attention that there is a significant concern amongst the community about a staff member new to the school. I want to take this opportunity to make sure you know that the senior team is aware of your concerns and they are being addressed. This situation will be resolved prior to the school year,” it reads.
“We recognize that this is very upsetting and that we will work with the community in rebuilding our relationship with you. We will share an update next week.”
That message was echoed by communications staff at the DDSB after multiple requests for comment from The Brock Voice.
“Senior staff have recently become aware of this situation. The DDSB is addressing parents’ concerns and are resolving this prior to the start of the school year. We value the relationship we have with the school community and will be working to rebuild that relationship,” the statement reads.
Under the conditions of his release, Grieve is not permitted in the company of minors under the age of 16 unless accompanied by his surety or their parent/guardian.
He was also required to surrender his passport and not communicate or be within 100 metres of any of the victims in the case.