Toronto District School Board
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Addressing School Safety

All students and staff have a right to feel safe at school and work. The TDSB is committed to working together to ensure every student has what they need to be successful in school and to keep our schools safe through the presence of caring adults, maintaining positive relationships, creating connections, solving problems, and promoting respect. 

The TDSB has a strong foundation for school safety that we have progressively built on for years. We have – and will continue to – invest considerable resources in school safety in addition to programs and opportunities that connect with and engage students. 

We have among the most evidence-based policies and procedures to support student safety and well-being. We have made ongoing and significant investments to resources, staffing and programs, including an investment of $5.9 million for additional staff.

On March 23, 2022, Trustees held a Special Board Meeting to discuss student safety, focusing on what work has been done and how we can continue to improve. Trustees' approved a motion that the Chair write to the Prime Minister of Canada, the Premier of Ontario, the Mayor of the City of Toronto and the chairs of Toronto school boards to request the creation of a partnership table between all three levels of government and Toronto school boards.

On Monday, December 5, a report, A Collaborative Approach to School and Community Safety: Report 1 , was presented to a Special Meeting of the TDSB Planning and Priorities Committee. This report provides an overview of current research trends and data related to Caring and Safe Schools in Toronto District School Board and beyond. It also presents Phase One of an action plan which intends to urgently address issues of school and community violence. This action plan includes interventions which are being implemented immediately. Watch the Director of Education’s opening remarks.

Schools are a reflection of the larger community within which they exist. As such, when communities are challenged by issues of violence, schools will also be challenged. Creating safer schools goes beyond the work of a single school board. It is the collective responsibility of all  levels of government, communities and all Greater Toronto Area school boards.

TDSB Staff Supporting Safe Schools

In addition to the caring adults that are present in all 583 TDSB schools, the board has many specially trained staff that help support safe schools and student well-being including: 

  • School-Based Safety Monitors in every Middle and Secondary school
  • Child and Youth Counsellors
  • Child and Youth Workers
  • Caring and Safe Schools Centrally Assigned Principals that oversee and support schools in school safety and disciplinary issues in each of the TDSB’s 4 Learning Centres
  • Caring and Safe Schools Advisors that support schools in school safety and disciplinary issues in each of the TDSB’s 4 Learning Centres 
  • Social Workers
  • Psychologists 
  • Court Liaison Workers

Community Partnerships

TDSB has worked very closely over many years and continues to work with established community agencies to deliver programming that supports students in unique community driven ways. We are also focussed on continuing to expand partnerships with culturally responsive community organizations and faith-based groups in support of school and community safety. 

Current Steps to Address School Safety
At the Toronto District School Board, we are taking a number of additional steps to address school safety including:

  • Creating a Safe Schools Audit Team to work with schools to ensure Caring and Safe Schools policies, practices and procedures are being followed appropriately and work with school teams to provide feedback and address concerns.
  • Ensuring every secondary school has a student engagement/safety team so that students are informing local school-based safety initiatives.
  • Formalizing a network of existing experts and organizations that directly work to reduce risk factors that lead to youth disengagement and violence through the creation of an expert reference group.
  • Expanding a new initiative that works with community groups during and after school to offer a variety of programs focused on supporting youth.
  • Working with Toronto Police to update the existing Police-School Board Protocol.
  • Continuing to be an active participant in the City of Toronto’s SafeTO community safety plan.
  • Allocating additional resources to schools where concerns have been raised, further building on an initial investment of $5.9 million made last year to add staff such as School-Based Safety Monitors, social workers, child and youth counsellors/workers.
  • Anticipating recommendations arising from a review of recent violent incidents in and around schools, which will be finalized in the near future.

Read the Joint Statement Re: Meeting with City of Toronto on Youth Violence (November 28, 2022).