Troubled students simply transferred to other schools: Report
Transferring troubled — even criminal — students between schools in the city’s northwest end is one of the biggest safety issues facing C.W. Jefferys, says a report examining conditions at the school where 15-year-old Jordan Manners was shot and killed.
In fact, the “serious safety concerns” about the high schools close to Jefferys prompted the School Community Safety Advisory Panel to ask to extend its mandate to other schools in the area, as well as extend its deadline — and boost its budget.
At public hearings held in mid-August, community members frequently mentioned Westview Centennial, a nearby high school, as having problems more serious than those at Jefferys. In fact, several Jefferys teachers told the Toronto Star that Westview was using transfers to break up gangs within the school.
Panel chair Julian Falconer has previously called such transfers a way to deal with “the walking wounded” without any additional funding.
“As consultations with teachers continued, it became apparent that safe school transfers were a significant issue at C.W. Jefferys, which receives more safe school transfers than it sends out to other schools,” says the panel’s report, released yesterday.
Last night, the Toronto District School Board’s director of education said the board does not have adequate programs for such students. “The issue of safe school transfers has been an issue across the city because of the limited number of alternative programs that we’ve been able to provide,” said Gerry Connelly.
The problem with safe schools transfers is that these students arrive at a new school, and teachers do not know of their past troubles. They often have criminal backgrounds and anger management issues, the panel was told.
Doug Jolliffe, head of the Toronto local of the Ontario Secondary School Teachers’ Federation, said “we need to start programs ... to help them. They can’t just simply ignore them or move them to another school.”
In a survey of about half of all students, conducted before school let out last June, 37 per cent said they were physically assaulted over the last two years. One-third of female students who responded said they worried about being sexually assaulted at the school.