On-call teacher in Yukon is accused of possessing child pornography

  • Canadian Press

WHITEHORSE — An on−call teacher in Yukon who worked at 10 different schools over five years has been charged with possession of child pornography.

Yukon Education Minister Jeanie McLean says in a statement that the teacher had been working in Whitehorse−area schools, but that stopped on Oct. 24 when the department became aware of the allegations.

The statement says the Department of Justice confirmed on Tuesday that a search warrant had been served and the teacher now faces the criminal charge.

McLean says teachers on call are required to submit a clear vulnerable sector criminal record check every two years and the teacher complied during the five years of employment with the district.

She says her department is reaching out to the 10 school communities where the teacher worked to ensure they are aware of available supports.

Yukon RCMP were not immediately available to offer more details on the case, and McLean’s statement doesn’t say if any children at the schools were part of the investigation.

McLean says she recognizes that the information is concerning and "may trigger an emotional response from students, parents and other members of our school communities."

“Our top priority will always be the safety and well−being of Yukon students. I want all students, parents and Yukoners to know that support and services are available to them."

McLean said the government has achieved great progress to ensure student safety in schools and is committed to improving its processes and policies.

Yukon’s ombudsman Jason Pedlar released a report last year saying the government’s failure to inform parents that a teaching assistant in a Whitehorse school had been charged with sexual assault was unfair to parents, especially after other parents came forward with accusations involving their children when the charges were reported in the media.

Pedlar’s report said if it weren’t for the media story, the department would likely have maintained its silence about the allegations.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 4, 2024.

The Canadian Press