School cops a deterrent

In what is being called a first sign of success, the 22 public high schools assigned a police officer are reporting a drop in suspensions and criminal charges.

In what is being called a first sign of success, the 22 public high schools assigned a police officer are reporting a drop in suspensions and criminal charges.

In the first semester of the 2007-08 school year, the schools — which are scattered throughout the city — had a total of 1,353 suspensions. Last fall, that fell to 1,122, a 17 per cent difference.

Criminal charges were down 16 per cent. Violent incidents, however, were up 15 per cent because of two major incidents at one unidentified school where about 15 students were suspended.

If that school is removed from the statistics, the remaining 21 schools saw a 52 per cent decrease in reported violence.

“What we are hearing so far is that it’s been successful and we’re quite pleased with what we are seeing,” said Ted Libera, administrator for safe and caring schools with the Toronto District School Board.

“I think the data show there have been some positive changes in place,” he said, adding it’s just a five-month snapshot but the schools will continue to be tracked for some time.

 
 
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