École Au-cœur-de-l’île is located in Comox. Photo by Scott Strasser.

Comox school vice-principal sent home for allegedly checking boys’ underwear

School district is now investigating the incident

The vice-principal of a French school in Comox has been sent home pending an investigation by B.C.’s Francophone school district following an incident at the school last week.

Mme. Delphine Guérineauthe is the vice-principal of École Au-cœur-de-l’île, a French school for K-12 students in Comox.

Last week, a student purportedly soiled themselves and left the ruined underwear in a boys’ bathroom.

Multiple parents have reported that Guérineauthe had male students at the school confirm they were wearing underwear, in an apparent attempt to figure out who had left the soiled garments. Parents claimed their sons had to display the band of their boxers to the vice-principal and were questioned if they were not wearing any.

One mother of two students at the school — who spoke on the condition of anonymity — said she was skeptical about the incident until she heard it from both of her children.

“I thought for sure there had to be more to the story. But the story I heard from both my kids were very similar, so that’s how I knew it was fairly accurate,” she said, adding she was most upset about the lack of communication from the school following the incident.

“The school did not send an email home,” she said. “Unless you went to the school and asked the school yourself, all you had was your child’s version of what happened.”

Two other parents of children at École Au-cœur-de-l’île recounted or confirmed similar versions of events but did not want to speak on the record.

Pascal Cyr, a public relations official with B.C.’s Conseil Scolaire Francophone (CSF) said the school district is now investigating the incident. She said Guérineauthe is not on leave and will not be suspended while the investigation is underway.

“As soon as we were contacted by the principal regarding this situation, the person responsible was sent home,” said Cyr.

“She’s at home until we know more about the situation and we can verify all the facts.”

CSF superintendent Bertrand Dupain wrote a letter to École Au-cœur-de-l’île parents on June 21.

“We have been informed of a delicate situation that occurred at École Au-cœur-de-l’île on June 19, 2018,” reads a portion of the letter, translated into English.

“The security of our students and staff is the priority of the CSF. Please be assured that all necessary measures will be implemented for this purpose.”

The principal of the school, Jeanne Musuku, referred The Record’s questions to the CSF public relations department. Musuku said the school cannot comment for this story.

Guérineauthe did not respond to an email.

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