6-year-old girl's head injury from broken door shows need for school repairs
Naomi Parness and Kendra Mangione, CTV Toronto
Published Thursday, January 21, 2016 5:55PM EST
A Grade 2 student received a concussion when she was pinned under a broken bathroom stall door at a Toronto school ranked by the province as in need of "critical" repairs.
The girl's parents reached out to CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness following an exclusive report that showed nearly one-quarter of the city's public schools are in need of urgent repair.
Documents obtained by CTV showed that 136 of the Toronto District School Board's 591 schools are ranked by the province in "critical" condition. The rating means the buildings need extensive renovations or replacements of core systems.
The board says the ratings don't mean that schools are unsafe, but that they may need repairs or renovations to parts that have passed their life expectancy. TDSB spokesperson Ryan Bird said the board deals with all emergency repairs immediately.
Though the board maintains that schools are safe, a mother told CTV Toronto that her young daughter was injured at the school that placed 12th on the list of the TDSB's facilities that are most in need of repairs.
The 6-year-old was injured in November when a bathroom stall door fell on her at Earl Beatty Junior and Senior Public School. Located in the area of Danforth and Woodbine Avenues, the school scored 106 based on a provincial assessment. Those with scores higher than 65 are considered to be in "critical" condition.
The girl's mother, Janine Druery, said her daughter was injured when a friend pushed open the door of one of the bathroom stalls.
"The stall door fell off its hinges in the bathroom and pinned my daughter to the ground," Druery said.
She said the girl received a concussion as a result of the incident, and needed two months to recover.
"It was quite a while before she was back to normal, before she wasn't having trouble eating, sleeping, concentrating."
Druery said the need for repairs is a "shame," and that she didn't know whether the problem was with the provincial government not providing enough funds, or the board not allocating money effectively.
"I don't know where to pinpoint the blame...but these kids deserve a safe environment to go to school."
Students aren't the only ones coming home from school with injuries, according to a union representing Ontario teachers.
Almost every day, elementary teachers from the TDSB call their union representatives about safety concerns about the buildings, Elementary Teachers of Toronto President John Smith told CTV Toronto on Thursday.
"What we hear and what we see are buildings falling apart, unsafe situations, boilers that don't work, rooms that are overheated or under-heated, windows that need replacing because the wind is howling through them," Smith said.
He said there are a growing number of teachers reporting injuries at TDSB schools. The injuries include falls, and in some cases, result in broken bones. Some teachers have needed as much as six months to recover.
TDSB schools with highest rankings
The following schools have the highest FCI rankings in the board:
- Park Lane Public School
- Amesbury Middle School
- Givins/Shaw Junior Public School
- Earl Grey Senior Public School
- Jesse Ketchum Junior and Senior Public School
- Winona Drive Senior Public School
- Winchester Junior and Senior Public School
- Highcastle Public School
- Zion Heights Junior High School
- Milne Valley Middle School
The following is a list of the rankings provided by the TDSB. The board only provided CTV Toronto with the first eight of 12 pages, so not all schools will appear in the scanned documents.
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