A former teacher convicted last week in Edmonton of sexual assault had ambitions to start an arts school on the Burin Peninsula.
Harvey Klok admitted to sexually assaulting a male student of his who was 18 at the time of the 2004 incident.
However, before Klok was charged, he moved from Alberta to Newfoundland and was working with students in various volunteer capacities.
He was not employed as a teacher, but a link to an old Eastern School District webpage praises Klok for giving the students at St. Anne’s School in South East Bight an “unforgettable experience.” There is a picture of Klok with the junior high students and a caption saying that, with Klok’s help, the students created their own play. The page says Klok just happened to visit the school one day.
“The story came to life for the Grades 7-Level One classes when Mr. Klok visited the school by chance one day. Mr. Klok, a former resident of Alberta now living in Baine Harbour, is involved in making short films and freely gave his time to the students in their endeavour,” the webpage reads.
Exactly when this occurred isn’t clear from the page. Klok moved to the province several years after the sexual assault for which he was recently convicted. Because the 2004 incident didn’t come to light until Klok’s arrest in 2013, a background check wouldn’t have raised any red flags.
In an email, the English School District said it will review Klok’s involvement with schools in the province.
The email also said there is a policy within the district which states that volunteers who may be with students with sporadic or no direct teacher supervision must provide a Certificate of Conduct with a Vulnerable Sector Check. When Klok was in this province, he hadn’t been charged with anything, so any background check on him would have been clear.
A 2008 article in The Southern Gazette interviews Klok as a “come from away” settling in rural Newfoundland when so many of the province’s own people were leaving.
The article says Klok came to Newfoundland initially on a trip to visit his nephew, who was studying at Memorial University, but moved to Baine Harbour permanently in 2007. He said in the article that his hope is to start an art school on the Burin Peninsula. The 2008 article said he is a “former teacher with a background in drama, music, television and animation, he has worked professionally in theatre and film, serving in a variety of roles from producer and director to set designer, builder and actor.”
Klok was still living in Newfoundland when he was arrested in 2013. He will be sentenced for the sexual assault on May 12.