A heightened police presence in school buildings, new procedures for dealing with peer sexual assault, and dozens of new staff to work with marginalized youth — these are just a few of the recommendations made by a school board panel in response to January’s Falconer Report.
The recommendations, scheduled for release this morning, call for enhanced “positive police interactions with students in school buildings” and a plan to establish a model to “further engage” Toronto police in our schools.
The report stops short of saying uniformed officers should be patrolling hallways. Instead, police will be providing more resources to schools and working to “strengthen the security around the school,” said trustee Cathy Dandy.
“I can assure you, it is not at all the intent to turn our schools into police buildings. We have to deal with the reality,” she said. “We’re not going to pretend that knives and guns aren’t in our schools. We know they’re there. We want to take it seriously.”
The report must still be approved by the full board.
The board formed a Leadership Action Team to conduct a comprehensive analysis of issues addressed in the Falconer Report. The team identified six major themes that emerged from the Falconer Report: Equity; Supports for Marginalized and Vulnerable Youth; Partnerships and Integrated Services; Gender-based Harassment and Violence; Safety and the Culture of Silence; and identified action plans for each.
“Truthfully, I wasn’t that impressed by this report. It didn’t seem to me to have the spunk that the Falconer Report had. I thought it was more same-old, same-old,” said trustee Sheila Cary-Meagher.