Whitehorse Daily Star

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POSTING PROMPTS STATEMENT OF REGRET – In 2021, a social media post falsely accused a student of F. H. Collins Secondary School (above) of sexually assaulting and harassing other students. This week, the accuser publicly apologized for her statements.

Damaging social media post prompts an apology

A Whitehorse woman is making a public apology for her 2021 posting of false statements about a male student at F.H. Collins Secondary School allegedly sexually assaulting and harassing other students.

By Whitehorse Star on August 12, 2022

A Whitehorse woman is making a public apology for her 2021 posting of false statements about a male student at F.H. Collins Secondary School allegedly sexually assaulting and harassing other students.

The apology is a term of the settlement of a defamation suit the student launched against Emily Blanchard, a graduate of the same school.

Her post prompted threats and episodes of bullying against the male student.

Instead of publishing the student initials used in Blanchard’s apology, which was released this week, the Star is referring to him as X.X. for the purposes of this story.

“I sincerely and unreservedly apologize for wrongly accusing and posting false information about X.X., a student at FH Collins School, on social media,” Blanchard’s apology reads.

“On May 6, 2021, I made a social media post about a male student sexually assaulting and harassing other students.

“When I wrote that post, I had no evidence of the truth of the comments I made about X.X. and the information in those comments has not been verified.

“I should never have made the post, it was untrue and I retract 
 it completely.

“It was never my intention to cause harm to X.X., but I now realize that my post caused damage to a person I have never met and do not know,” Blanchard added.

“I accept my mistake and promise to never again make a public post about a youth in such a way,” she wrote.

“It was never my intention to cause harm to X.X.’s reputation or to incite violence towards him, but I understand now that my social media post, which untruthfully said that he sexually assaulted others at FH Collins School, caused him to be bullied and threatened on social media and damaged his reputation. I sincerely regret my actions.

“When people made violent comments, I refused to participate in those comments and I made an edit in my post to state my belief that violence is not a solution,” Blanchard noted in her apology.

“My edit did not undo the damage that had been done to X.X.

“I, once again, retract the statements I made about X.X. in my Facebook post on May 6, 2021 as they were allegations based on gossip with no proof, and I should never have made those statements.

“As far as I am actually aware, X.X. has not done any of the things described in my post on May 6, 2021. I apologize for the harm that those statements have done 
to X.X.”

Blanchard’s 2021 posting provoked a simmering debate on school safety within the F.H. Collins Seconday School community. It also resulted in a letter being issued by the Department of Education early in May of that year.

Penned by Ryan Sikkes, the assistant deputy minister of Schools and Student Services, it read:

“RE: Facebook post reporting allegations of sexualized assault.

“We were recently made aware of a Facebook post, which included allegations of sexualized assault, and threats to persons and property.

“The health and safety of our students and staff is our first priority, and we take reports like these very seriously.

“The Department of Education condemns all forms of sexualized violence and works with authorities to ensure that all reported incidents are investigated and followed up through the school and all appropriate authorities and agencies,” the letter advised.

“As soon as we learned of the post on Facebook, the RCMP and school administration were contacted immediately.

“The Schools and Student Services Branch is currently working with our school staff, and will continue to follow the direction provided by local authorities and support agencies.

“Specific allegations or information shared with the school are being addressed and any additional information will be investigated and followed up on,” Sikkes wrote.

“We want to reassure you that we are working directly with students to provide immediate support.

“All students, parents, teachers and school staff have a right to be safe, and to feel safe, in their school community,” he added.

“Sexualized violence is a serious matter and we understand the broad implications of such violence in our communities.”

Comments (16)

Up 3 Down 0

CJ2 on Aug 18, 2022 at 10:19 pm

@Juniper Jackson, Oh, come on. Sure, we've all made mistakes, but thankfully it's still a minority who will publicly label someone as this woman did. I certainly don't equate any of my embarrassing and regrettable moments, of which there are many, with her spree. Social media has been around for a couple of decades now, you have to have your head in the sand to not understand its power.

I seriously dislike this climate where people can claim sexual assault and it's now the convention to take it as fact. This obligation of her to apologize is a welcome development. I realize it's painful for her, and embarrassing, but we can't simply accept slander by social media as normal and something we have no control over.

Up 2 Down 0

Mitch on Aug 18, 2022 at 2:11 pm

@the Humanity - fair points, I struggle to maintain your optimism, but you are right in this case. I hope he does get to live a normal life, I hope she learns and does too.

Up 8 Down 1

Do not let them take your humanity Mitch… Let go of the anger! on Aug 17, 2022 at 6:14 pm

I disagree MITCH on Aug 17, 2022 at 2:35 pm:

He has been vindicated. He has received a settlement and an apology. Any individual who further slanders or commits libel against him can be warned, sued and or criminally prosecuted.

He can also be a powerful voice against the dangers of Social Media - It would be absolutely wonderful if these two could get together and perform public service announcements / workshops about their experiences - That would be reconciliation in action.

However, I get your point Mitch. Too many men have been falsely accused of sexual assault when no sexual assault had occurred. However, there are many cases where men have gotten away with sexual assault due to systemic issues that facilitate an ongoing misandry.

What a powerful force these two could be to combat both myths: Believe all women; All men are pigs. A reconciliation at the individual level to facilitate a reconciliation at the systemic level caused in large part by this current repugnance of Liberalism.

Up 4 Down 7

Juniper Jackson on Aug 17, 2022 at 5:38 pm

Oh, oh, oh..give me a rock, i want to throw it at her because i've never said a bad thing about someone, or repeated a bit of gossip that i had not proof for.. just she said, he said.. because I was a younger me, and never made any mistakes, so I never had to be sorry for anything. Yeah..no.. you live a life..you make mistakes. That's what people do. Ms. Emily Blanchard could not have forseen the outcome of running her mouth. She has likely been shunned in her circle, and her name is public now. X.X. has friends and family gathering around, and his identity is protected. I am not condoning Ms. Blanchard's behavior, but i am saying, it's time to move on. Everyone has learned something. Even me.

Up 11 Down 12

Austin on Aug 17, 2022 at 3:24 pm

At least she apologized for her wrong doing. I wish the Liberals could at least apologize for screwing Canada up since they have been in power. No apology for the BS that went on in Hidden Valley School. This girl has more _alls then the LIberals. Yeah what she did was wrong but that is social media for ya. Hope she learns a big lesson from this.

Up 16 Down 3

MITCH on Aug 17, 2022 at 2:35 pm

@ ONE TOKE OVER THE LINE - She will be forgotten by next week, that young man has to wear that for life.

Up 8 Down 13

The ship of fools… on Aug 16, 2022 at 5:54 pm

Responding to - One toke over the line… on Aug 15, 2022 at 10:40 pm:

We live in such a real world of hypocrisy that it’s hard to support this outcome.

Tracey McPhee has been asked to leave public office because the people have no confidence in her ability to accord herself honestly and ethically.

White has supported the Territorial Liberal Nation Demolition Party in its covert, subversion of democratic processes under the auspices of Emergency Measures.

This winter with high fuel prices is going to present Canadians with a harsh cold reality.

The reason that there is so much vehemence for the perpetrator of this sexualized allegation of assault is that the world around us has been monetized through the Legal system which opportunistically preys upon the fallout of the chaos created by our so called leaders.

Yes, what she did was wrong. However, you have people in charge doing much worse for economic gain and you people sit on the sidelines picking the low hanging fruit - Again, you disgust me!

“Tell me why are we so blind to see
That the ones we hurt are you and me?
Been spendin' most their lives livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Been spendin' most their lives livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Keep spendin' most our lives livin' in the gangsta's paradise
Power and the money, money and the power
Minute after minute, hour after hour
Everybody's runnin', but half of them ain't lookin'
It's goin' on in the kitchen, but I don't know what's cookin'
They say I gotta learn, but nobody's here to teach me
If they can't understand it, how can they reach me?”

We are the mirror reflection of our leadership and our country now looks like 6 pounds of hammered shyt in a 3 pound bag! WTF!

Here is a little misogynistic truth for you - This whole because it’s 2015 schtick about women is in large measure because women, on the whole, are more passive, obedient, and more prone to emotional manipulation.

Those that are not soon learn that Trudeau’s brand of feminism has limits that are bounded by ‘his’ perception of what it means to be female - FFS!

Angry, yes! However, it is justifiable anger against the contempt that we have been treated with by the L-NDP autocracy.

Up 20 Down 6

One toke over the line… on Aug 15, 2022 at 10:40 pm

Seriously people? I think that the price she is paying is much more than many of our criminal recidivists. Her deed and her apology will be on the public record well beyond her lifetime. Most criminal recidivists can get a record suspension/pardon which means their offending conduct cannot be used against them in hiring/employment.

Her, not so much. However, we should all be cognizant of the idea that “we” have not trained or taught our young people very well when it comes to the ‘internet’. Too many of our kids are getting caught up in the allure of it, the addiction of it, the absolute corruption of the mind.

There is good research out there that demonstrates that I-tech is mental pollution, toxic to the psyche. Experimental research has shown that technologies such as iPhones etc have greater impact on IQ than smoking cannabis by about 15 points.

Up 42 Down 16

Bill on Aug 13, 2022 at 11:50 am

The reason for such little judicial response is simple - the perpetrator is not a male. Had they been then you can rest assured the heavy hand of the law would have come down. Time and time again we see this. Sex with a minor by a male = jail time, by a female = a tsk, tsk and what were you thinking madam.

Up 62 Down 3

Matthew on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:55 pm

NOT good enough.. Only sorry you got caught..

Up 62 Down 3

Nathan Living on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:52 pm

I think financial compensation is in order.

Up 90 Down 4

Thomas Brewer on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm

Poor kid, run out of town like that, and what consequences for the admittedly ignorant accuser?

Miscarriage of justice.

Up 80 Down 4

Joseph campbell on Aug 12, 2022 at 4:45 pm

I hope there's a cheque attached.

Up 71 Down 6

MITCH on Aug 12, 2022 at 3:56 pm

Thank you for publishing the name of the false accuser, we appreciate objective reporting.

Up 89 Down 10

MITCH on Aug 12, 2022 at 2:35 pm

Publish the name of the adult female who made such life damaging accusations. She should be facing a lot more than a goddamned public apology..

Up 122 Down 4

Too little too late on Aug 12, 2022 at 2:34 pm

This woman should be absolutely ashamed of herself. A forced apology as a condition of settlement is not an apology. The harm done is irreparable for this young man, and no ‘apology’ will ever fix that. Disgusting behaviour on her part. Hopefully it’s a lesson to her and others who feel it’s acceptable to make up lies.

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