The Toronto public school system decided to temporarily scrap its program that puts police officers in schools after facing demands from Black Lives Matter and other groups.
The program, which places armed police officers in about thirty six Toronto public schools, will be suspended until November while the Toronto District School Board has a chance to talk to students and parents about the program, reports CBC.
“We really felt that we could not conduct that review in a situation where students might not feel that they were secure and confident in their anonymity to speak openly about how they felt about the program,” trustee Marit Stiles told CBC after the board voted on the matter.
Black Lives Matter Toronto and other social justice organizations had been calling for the program to end for a while, citing concerns about police officers acting racist towards the black students. BLM Toronto members and other protesters crashed a meeting in July and bothered various board members there.
“While this is not a full victory, this is an important step forward,” Black Lives Matter Toronto said about the decision. “…It’s time to hear from students themselves about their experiences with police surveillance, decriminalization, profiling..”
The program was started in 2009 after a 15-year-old high school student was shot and killed while walking down the hallways of his school.
The mayor of Toronto came out against the decision to temporarily stop the program, saying the board should survey the students and keep the program running.
“They’ve chosen to go a different route, which is to do away for now with a program that I think had some supporters, quite a few, and then do the review, which isn’t the way I’d do it,” Mayor John Tory said.
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