Catholic board overhauls security in GTA schools
Schools around the GTA will be much safer when the bell rings for students to go back to class as more than 50 schools get a security upgrade this summer.
Fifty-three elementary and secondary schools within the Toronto Catholic District School Board are buzzing with work crews that are installing new security systems.
In total, 202 schools will be equipped with security systems by summer's end.
"We have upgraded camera systems and installed completely new systems in most of our high schools," David Standen of the Toronto Catholic District School Board told CTV News.
St. Patrick's Catholic Secondary School now has 44 cameras inside the facility with an additional four cameras surrounding the exterior of the school.
Staff can even access the footage online to ensure students are safe while they are working at their studies.
Security doesn't come cheap and the Catholic School Board is paying $700,000 for the new equipment.
"Our experience is that we have seen reduced vandalism in other locations, both inside and outside the buildings. When cameras are in place, people are aware of the cameras," Standen said.
Parents within the GTA say they welcome the increased sense of security.
"I think we could have more security and yes, it could benefit us. Better before an accident than after a tragedy," parent Chris Durward told CTV News.
C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute in North York came under fire in May after the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Manners occurred on the school grounds.
Human rights lawyer Julian Falconer was appointed in June to chair a panel in response to Manners' death.
The principal and two vice-principals at the Toronto high school where Manners was fatally shot were suspended with pay, pending a police investigation.
Allegations against the school administration emerged during the independent panel led by Falconer.
With a report from CTV's Naomi Parness