A report by staff at Canada’s largest school board recommends eliminating a controversial program that placed police officers in certain Toronto schools after finding the scheme left some students feeling intimidated or uncomfortable.
The report, which is subject to approval by board trustees, said the program should be discontinued, but the board should continue to work with police to ensure a safe school environment.
Critics of the program argued that armed officers in schools intimidate students. They also raised concerns about racial and anti-immigrant bias.
The report also noted that eliminating the program will not be without challenges.
The TDSB must “address the serious concerns brought forward by a significant number of our students, while continuing to keep our schools safe and welcoming for all,” it said.
57% of respondents said having an officer in school made them feel safer.
The report said while it was recommending the discontinuation of the program in its current form, “staff will continue to work with police on order to build a partnership (with police) that honours the voices of all students.”