Parent speaks out about 'state of disrepair' of son's school
Published Tuesday, February 2, 2016 8:57PM EST
The parent of a Toronto high school student is speaking out about what he calls ‘the state of disrepair’ of his son’s school.
Scott Deveber has a son in Grade 9 at Northern Secondary School in midtown Toronto. Deveber said he and his son both take pride in the Northern Secondary community. But the school’s condition is another story.
“The unfortunate part is that the … physical nature of it is just so degraded that it’s embarrassing,” he said.
Northern Secondary is one of 136 schools in the Toronto Public District School Board rated by the province to be in “critical” need of repairs.
On Monday, a group of students and parents showed up at Queen’s Park to appeal for more money.
“Our bathrooms -- there’s no privacy because the locks don’t work,” said Olivia Bourk, a Grade 5 student at Runnymede Public School.
Parents say the condition of these schools is preventing staff from doing their jobs.
“Our principals are becoming engineers,” said one parent. “They’re not doing what they’re supposed to be doing. They’re working on fixing leaks on roofs.”
Norther Secondary School has a “safe school senator” -- a student whose job it is to pass on concerns to administration about what needs to be fixed.
“With the age of the school, there’s going to be issues that arise,” said Spencer Dunsmuir. “Things are going to come up and we get on top of them.”
Some students and staff maintain the school is safe. But the principal says there simply isn’t enough funding to keep up with all the repairs.
“When we put in work orders, they’re resolved right away,” said Principal Ron Felson. “In terms of aging infrastructure, that’s a different question.”
But Deveber and other parents say the longer these repairs take to complete, the more likely it is that the aging infrastructure will become a threat to students’ safety.
With a report from CTV Toronto’s Naomi Parness