In the 1950’s, lots of attrocities happened at residential schools. According to this class action lawsuit, W. Ross Macdonald was not immune.
If all of this stuff went down the way they say it did, somebody needs to pay, and in a perfect world, I’d like to see some folks go to jail, even though I never will see that satisfaction. Residential schools are a scary idea, especially considering the long stints where kids would stay before seeing anybody outside of there. It leaves them vulnerable to being abused, whether the kids have a disability or not.
When I was there, things were pretty good. I definitely did see some incidents where some staff would abuse their power, and other staff would discourage students from advocating for themselves, saying “think of the repercussions.” But I also saw a lot of staff who had the kids’ best interests at heart, and a very special few staff who would push us to stand up for what we needed. At any rate, the W. Ross Macdonald School I attended was not the one painted in this lawsuit.
But don’t think I don’t believe this stuff didn’t happen. I have no reason to doubt what I’m hearing. I know of the guy leading the suit, and although I don’t know him well, I have 0 reason to believe he’s making this up.
I’m completely conflicted. I’m afraid this suit will end up doing more damage to the current students who are there, and it will really not touch the people who are in need of paying for what happened back then. But I certainly don’t think these things should slip silently out of memory and go without people being held accountable. I can’t imagine living under those conditions, and probably having even less of a voice than your average kid would have.
We’ll have to see what happens.