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Trustee agrees to police posting at C.W. Jefferys
The head of the Toronto District School Board says the trustee who represents C.W. Jefferys Collegiate, the school that was the site of a student stabbing on Tuesday, has reversed positions and will now allow a police officer to be posted at the school.
TDSB chair John Campbell told ctvtoronto.ca that he has spoken by phone with trustee Stephanie Payne, who is away on holidays, and she told him she backs placing a school resource officer at C.W. Jefferys. Payne had earlier declined putting an officer in the school after consulting with some parents and teachers.
"She generally felt that it was a good school, a safe school," Campbell said, noting that Tuesday's violence appears to have changed her mind.
"Trustee Payne indicated that she can't see how they can not have (a police resource officer) in the school at this time."
CTV Toronto later reached Payne, who is in Barbados, confirmed she would support the placement.
CTV Toronto's Galit Solomon said the community should find out in about three weeks if the school will get an officer. There will be some community consultation first.
The school initiated a lockdown on Tuesday afternoon after someone stabbed a 16-year-old boy. The boy told police he was stabbed on school property before taking a cab home. He was bleeding profusely. A friend called 9-1-1. Police said the boy underwent surgery and is recovering in hospital. They haven't made any arrests.
The victim is still refusing to co-operate with police.
Campbell said Payne had been consulting with parents and students about putting a police officer in the school, but the idea was generally being rejected. He added that a police officer on site won't be a panacea.
"It's important to know that having a resource officer in a school is not going to resolve everything," Campbell said.
"Could this have happened at a school without a resource officer? Sure it could have. These are community problems. These are family problems. These problems go far beyond the walls of our school."
C.W. Jefferys became a notorious symbol of school violence when Jordan Manners was shot and killed there in 2007 -- an incident that triggered a review of school safety in Toronto. However, the school was not one of the 27 in Toronto with a uniformed officer on-site. However, the school installed surveillance cameras and increased the number of hall monitors to three.
Students say the principal and vice-principal help patrol the halls, but some feel that's not enough.
Anne Seymour, a TDSB superintendent, told reporters that resource officers were never intended to be a part of the response to the Manners tragedy.
"That project actually came out of (Police Chief Bill) Blair's experience in Regent Park that had to do with building positive relationships with youth in the community," she said.
With a report from CTV Toronto's Galit Solomon