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Toronto District School Board: School isn’t safe

January 11th, 2008     by Stacey May Fowles     Comments

The Toronto District School Board has released a thousand page report, put together by a three-member panel, that emphasizes that schools are simply not safe for teens in Toronto. The result of months of interviews and research, the panel heard from countless teens about weapons and violence in schools to put together the report, released at a press conference yesterday. From The Toronto Star:

The Toronto District School Board is “nowhere near sufficiently funded to manage” the diverse students it serves, and, to this day, doesn’t provide enough social workers or child and youth workers to C.W. Jefferys Collegiate, where (Jordan) Manners was shot to death last May, Julian Falconer said…

…there are disturbing details of the alleged assault of a female Muslim student in a school washroom by six males, who have since been charged with gang sexual assault. The report devotes a section to a troubling climate of sexual aggression in the halls and recommends many changes to address the problem.

The report includes reports of 30 incidents with knives or Tasers and 31 sexual assaults on school property. It also dispells some of the myths around where these attacks are taking place and how best to eliminate them and make students safe: “Nothing could be further from the truth that this is a problem involving the black kids at Jane and Finch,” (Falconer) added.

He also rapped the board for its culture of fear, where teachers and staff and students are afraid to speak out.

And despite the violence, he argued against a return to zero-tolerance plans, which he said “do not work.”

“Marginalized youth cannot be punished into becoming engaged.”

Tags: news flash

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