Average of 557 drug-related suspensions in TDSB schools each year
Naomi Parness and Kendra Mangione, CTV Toronto
Published Friday, November 14, 2014 5:50PM EST
Each year, the Toronto District School Board suspends or expels an average of 557 students based on drugs and illegal substances.
The average is taken from data collected over the last six school years, obtained by CTV Toronto's Naomi Parness in an access-to-information request.
Since the 2008-09 school year, there have been between 512 and 636 incidents annually.
The total number of incidents includes possession of alcohol and illegal drugs, being under the influence of drugs, possession or misuse of harmful substances, trafficking in weapons or illegal drugs, and drug-related acts that go against the school and school board's codes of conduct.
The most recent data shows there were 552 suspensions and expulsions between the fall of 2013 and spring of 2014. According to the TDSB, 203 suspensions were for possessing alcohol and drugs on school property, while 224 were for being under the influence of illegal drugs while at school.
Compared to the previous year, the numbers were up slightly in 2013-14, when there were 17 more incidents than the year before.
Of the six years included in the data provided by the TDSB, 2009-10 had the most drug-related suspensions and expulsions: 636.
Most common reason for suspension
Of all the offences, possession of alcohol or illegal drugs were the most common causes of suspensions and expulsions during the six-year period.
Of the total instances recorded, nearly 40 per cent were for possession. The least common cause for suspension or expulsion since 2008 was trafficking of weapons and illegal drugs.
Drug-related suspensions by school
Of the 221 schools included in the documents provided by the TDSB, nearly half of the schools (47 per cent) had fewer than six incidents over six years. If there were fewer than six incidents, the board did not provide an exact number to "protect student privacy."
Of the 118 schools with six or more drug-related suspensions or expulsions, 14 of the schools had 60 or more incidents since the 2008-09 school year.
Central Technical School had the highest number of incidents, referred to as "counts" in the documents.
CTS had 135 expulsions and suspensions relating to drugs and illegal substances between the fall of 2008 and the spring of 2014.
The following schools had 60 or more counts of drug-related suspensions and expulsions:
- Central Technical School - 135 counts
- Western Technical-Commercial School - 132 counts
- Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute - 105 counts
- Bendale Business and Technical Institute - 92 counts
- Lester B Pearson Collegiate Institute - 88 counts
- Birchmount Park Collegiate Institute - 76 counts
- Harbord Collegiate Institute - 75 counts
- Silverthorn Collegiate Institute - 73 counts
- Lakeshore Collegiate Institute - 72 counts
- Eastern Commerce Collegiate Institute - 68 counts
- Etobicoke Collegiate Institute - 66 counts
- Rosedale Heights School of the Arts - 65 counts
- Northern Secondary School - 63 counts
- Sir Wilfrid Laurier Collegiate Institute - 63 counts
Comparing weapons and drugs suspensions
Several schools that rank highest for drug-related suspensions and expulsions are also among those with the highest counts of weapons-related suspensions and expulsions. (http://toronto.ctvnews.ca/tdsb-sees-highest-number-of-weapons-possession-suspensions-in-6-years-1.2100782)
In both cases, Central Technical School had the highest number of suspensions and expulsions in the six-year period outlined in the TDSB documents.
Western Technical-Commercial School ranked second for drug-related incidents and fifth for weapons-related incidents. Danforth Collegiate and Technical Institute was third on the drug list and second on the weapons list. Lester B Pearson, Silverthorn, Northern and Sir Wilfrid Laurier were also on both lists.
The documents obtained by CTV Toronto show drug-related suspensions and expulsions in each school in the board during the period between fall of 2008 and spring of 2014: