Trustees call on province to fund security panel
The Toronto District School Board is calling on the Attorney General's office to pay for a school safety and security panel that will cost the province nearly half a million dollars.
The school board met on Monday to discuss how much the three-person independent panel would cost.
After the board approved the budget, school board chair Sheila Ward called on the province to provide the $489,136 needed to fund the panel.
"Our intent is to go and talk to the attorney general because we think the scope of this, the intent of this and the value of this certainly bears on his mandate and on his area of expertise and concern and we think there will be a value of this beyond TDSB," Ward told CTV News.
Human rights lawyer Julian Falconer was appointed to chair the panel which comes in response to the shooting death of 15-year-old Jordan Manners at C.W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute in North York.
The review is expected to take six weeks to complete and the findings will be released on July 16.
Some trustees believe the safety panel was a knee-jerk decision made without proper financial planning after 15-year-old Jordan Manners was gunned down at the school on May 23.
"I believe that the media pressure and the criticism placed on the school board made the school board move hastily and very quickly," trustee Josh Matlow told CTV Toronto on Monday.
"What we should have done was actually have a vote, a discussion, and decided on a very deliberate way to move forward and engage the province to fund this before we announced this to parents who now have their expectations raised."
C.W. Jefferys is currently running a deficit. Matlow said even if safety recommendations are made for the school, the board does not have the funds to implement them.
Members of the panel will speak to parents, students, staff, administrators and residents in the area.
The panel is expected to report back to the school board in July with their findings, which will be made public.
The three-member panel will review:
- The practices and procedures regulating student supervision, student discipline, and building safety at the school over the past two years;
- If other factors affected the school or the board's ability to maintain student order and discipline; and
- How student supervision, discipline, and security can be improved across the school board.
- Teachers at the school recently went public detailing safety issues and concerns that they claim were ignored by board officials long before Manners was shot
With a report from CTV John Musselman