Toronto District School Board

School Resource Officer Update

Thursday, August 31, 2017
Categories: News Releases

The TDSB Board of Trustees has voted to approve a plan to review the School Resource Officer (SRO) program beginning this September. The SRO program sees officers from the Toronto Police Service (TPS) assigned to 45 of the TDSB's 584 schools. To allow for open and unbiased input during the course of the review, trustees voted on August 30 to suspend the program in the schools in which it was operating. (The approved motion appears below in full.)

The purpose of the review is to seek input from all stakeholders, including students, parents, principals, and other staff. The suspension of the program helps to ensure that all participants, particularly marginalized students whose voices are essential to capture during the process of the review, are comfortable sharing their experiences and opinions. The review will begin this September and is anticipated to be completed in late Fall 2017. TPS is also conducting its own separate and independent review of the SRO program.

The TDSB values its strong relationship with TPS. While the SRO program is suspended in the TDSB schools in which it has operated pending the outcome of the review, we will continue, as always, to work with police on school safety. Students, staff and communities will continue to benefit from this ongoing partnership between schools and police.

The TDSB's SRO Program review includes a survey to gather the input of staff and students at the 45 Toronto District School Board schools that have had an SRO and community consultation involving meetings held at three locations across the city. Following the review, a decision about the continuation of the program will be made.

This comprehensive review is an important reflection of our commitment to putting equity, inclusion and the well-being of students, staff and school community members at the centre of all the TDSB’s activities.

TDSB schools continue to be caring and safe places in which to learn. Each school has a comprehensive safe schools plan that includes a variety of elements, such as secure access systems, bullying prevention and conflict resolution programs, community partnerships, cameras, school-based safety monitors, and more.

 

TDSB motion:

Whereas, the TDSB’s School Resource Officer (SRO) Review endeavours to ensure that all participants in the review are provided safe and secure settings where they will be comfortable sharing their experiences and opinions; and

Whereas, the presence of SROs in schools potentially counters this aim, while the review is being conducted, and creates a potential bias; and

Whereas, the presence of SROs is potentially intimidating for the most marginalized students whose voices are essential to capture during the process; and

Whereas, the Falconer report, “Roots of Youth Violence” recommended more caring adults in schools such as social workers, child and youth workers, hall monitors etc.;

Therefore, be it resolved:

(a) That for the duration of the review of the TDSB’s School Resource Officer Program, the program be suspended;

(b) That during the suspension period, that the Director work with superintendents and principals to address any needs that may arise.

Learn more about the TDSB’s review of the School Resource Officer Program.


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