TORONTO - October and November have not been good months for Education systems and classroom experiences in GTA schools. Leaving the impact of spreading respiratory and seasonal virus to one side, some school boards have become downright toxic for students and parents concerned for their safety.
Toronto District School Board (TDSB), cited as a “progressive” institution is particularly problematic. It seems that rarely a week goes by without a knifing or a shooting or some other acts of violence do not prompt police intervention.
Two weeks ago, a concerned teacher, desperate because of the silence of the press and media to the cause of her sister’s plight as an employee of the TDSB, called to see if the Corriere could take an interest. She was referring to the lockdown at York Memorial Collegiate Institute. I thanked her for her confidence but pointed out that our readership is primarily Italian, and their children and grandchildren are consumers of the Catholic District School Board.
Nonetheless, I asked her to prepare detailed notes of the allegations she was recounting and to include names and any distinctive particulars which might be relevant to her complaint. I guaranteed their anonymity, but I wanted to ensure at least a modicum of methodical reflection before I would meet with them and others.
Then on November 25, CityNews reporters Faiza Amin and Meredith Bond broke the story. It should send shivers down the spine of any parent contemplating sending their offspring to a TDSB school. Here is a brief synopsis of their report:
“Fourteen of the school’s 80 staff [refused] to show up for work because of […] safety issues…[including] fights almost every day, multiple fights per day, often with suspected use of weapons […] teachers who have been physically intimidated, swarmed and assaulted …[students using the bathrooms to film]…sex, drug deals and violence…[even]… vice principals have received death threats to their faces from students… around 100 students… storming of the main office more than once…”
York Memorial Collegiate shares a building with George Harvey Secondary School (in the pic above, by Corriere Canadese). Originally, they were in separate locations about 500 meters apart in the heart of a working-class community dominated by what the sanctimonious woke refer to as marginalized or racialized communities.
It may be of solace to some that the two schools will be separate again in September of 2026. By then, an entire cohort (generation) of high school students will have had to survive school conditions normally associated with the inner-city mayhem in American depressed inner cities.
Ironically, the TDSB is a truly “transformative institution” where Brendan Browne, the transformative director at the Catholic counterpart, earned his stripes as Executive Superintendent.
Parents want and deserve better for their children. They should not have to worry about whether they will return from school or what condition they will be in if they do return. It’s time Minister Lecce stepped up to the plate, as they say in baseball.
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