Trustees have voted to end the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program at the Toronto District School Board.
The decision, made during their regular meeting this evening, followed consultations with thousands of students, staff, parents and community members. These consultations culminated in a recently released summary report that found while many students had a positive impression of the program, a number of students said the presence of an SRO made them feel uncomfortable, intimidated, and/or watched or targeted.
This final vote comes a week after the Board’s Planning and Priorities Committee heard from a number of delegates and voted unanimously to support the report’s recommendation to end the SRO program at the TDSB.
Trustees also voted this evening to have staff continue to work in partnership with Toronto Police to maintain positive working relationships that will ensure a safe, welcoming and inclusive culture in every school. As always, Toronto Police will continue to respond to any incident that threatens the safety of students, staff, and school communities.
All TDSB schools -- the majority of which never had an SRO -- are safe places for students to learn; this decision does not change that. In all schools, administrators and school staff work hard to build relationships and have the primary responsibility for working with students and parents to create a safe, inclusive and positive space, accepting of all students.
Read Chair Robin Pilkey's op-ed in the Toronto Star.
• The SRO program began at the TDSB in 2008.
• Prior to Trustees suspending the program in August, there were 45 TDSB of 113 high schools that had a School Resource Officer.
• While the SRO program has now ended at the TDSB, other programs and/or relationships that schools have with the Toronto Police Service remain in place.
• The TDSB continues to be guided by the Police-School Board Protocol (PR698) which encourages a positive relationship between school communities and police officers and establishes guidelines for these relationships.
“Over recent months, we have listened to marginalized voices that have not always been heard. We have heard loud and clear that the SRO program is not welcome by a significant number of our students and that’s why we’ve made the difficult decision to end the program at the TDSB.”
- Robin Pilkey, Chair, TDSB
“Though the SRO program will be coming to an end in 45 TDSB schools, we will continue to collaborate with Toronto Police on shared issues. Moving forward, we will also support our staff and engage our students to continue providing caring and safe schools for all.”
- John Malloy, Director, TDSB