Trustees have voted to temporarily suspend the Toronto District School Board’s controversial school resource officer program for the start of the school year.
A permanent decision will be made after more data is collected and a report can be released.
This comes almost a week after activists and members of the public disrupted a Toronto Police Services board meeting, arguing armed officers in schools intimidate students and contribute to the marginalization of people with diverse backgrounds.
The program deployed 36 officers in 75 schools across the city.
It was put in place after 15-year-old Jordan Manners was shot and killed at C. W. Jefferys Collegiate Institute in 2007.
Critics of the program have argued that armed officers in schools intimidate students.
Rodney Diverlus, co-founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto, applauded the TDSB’s decision to suspend the program.
“While this is not a full victory, this is an important step forward,” he wrote in statement posted on Facebook.
Mayor John Tory said he was hoping the TDSB would have waited for the results of an independent review, which is being conducted by Ryerson University, before deciding to pull the police officers out of schools.
“I thought the best way to deal with the fact there were two differing points of view is to have a fully professional, objective review and that’s what’s underway now,” Tory said.
“The school board decided they would take a different approach and before that review is done, cancelled the program. It wouldn’t be the way I’d make decisions but I don’t second guess or make their decisions for them, they operate on their own.”
An interim report on the review’s findings is expected to be released in January.
With files from The Canadian Press