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My statement on school safety

October 17, 2018

All children have the right to a safe learning space. I support reinstating the Student Resource Officer program that was cancelled by the Toronto District School Board last year.

In the National Post in January of this year, columnist Christie Blatchford reported on an exhaustive research study that has demonstrated conclusively that young people feel safer in schools where an SRO is present.

“Students benefited one way or another by having an SRO, regardless of their gender, or whether they’d ever been arrested or stopped by the police, or whether they had been victimized.

 “All students … indicated that they felt significantly safer at school and less stressed and anxious” after five months’ exposure to the SRO,” Blatchford reported. 

“And the more contact a student had with an SRO, the more likely he or she was to see the program in a positive light — and fully 75 per cent of the students felt safer because of the SRO,” she said.

Blatchford reports that the 258-page analysis, done by two Carleton University professors and their PhD students, shows unequivocally that students overwhelmingly feel safer in school — and even report sleeping better and feeling less anxiety — with SROs.

If a student doesn’t feel safe in the classroom, he or she will not learn. As a trustee, I will do my utmost to ensure that all students in all schools are able to study and learn while feeling safe and secure. 

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