Go to Admin » Appearance » Widgets » and move Gabfire Widget: Social into that MastheadOverlay zone
A school safety panel struck after the September stabbing death of Hamid Aminzada publicly released its report on Wednesday night, putting forward 41 recommendations for North Albion Collegiate Institute and the Toronto District School Board as a whole.
The recommendations call for action in various areas, including crisis response, caring and safe environments, policies, procedures and practices for safety in schools, and community engagement and support.
Timely and ongoing training for hall monitors and hall supervision by teachers are two key recommendations in the report, after calls from students and staff for more support staff during the interview process conducted by the panel.
The 62-page report follows the death of Aminzada, 19, who was killed inside his high school near Kipling and Finch Aves. on Sept. 23. At the time, police said Aminzada was stabbed while trying to intervene in a dispute between two students in the school’s hallway.
Regarding the recommendation for hall supervision by teachers, the report said attention should be given in the 2015 collective bargaining process to “increasing flexibility, usage and total amount of supervision duties of secondary teachers outside of their assigned instructional duties.”
The report also recommends the Board reviews and updates its emergency response procedures to include operational issues, communication protocols, key and card access, and open space issues during lockdowns, in collaboration with the Toronto police and other partners.
The notion of collaboration is key in the report, according to panel member and former TDSB executive superintendent Karen Forbes. It means “collaborating more with all aspects of the city, whether it be community service organizations or the Toronto police or getting involved with the Mayor,” she said.
The report also touches on the state of disrepair at North Albion Collegiate, and recommends an assessment of repairs and maintenance required at the school be taken.
Last month, students and teachers at the school called on the TDSB to stop roof repairs happening during class time and repair a string of problems, amid relocated classes, students feeling sick from construction fumes, and water seen dripping through a ceiling.
“Consideration should be given, in the development of the Capital Plan, to significant infrastructure issues of schools in need of repair, particularly in disadvantaged communities,” one recommendation reads.
The school safety panel – struck last October – spoke with hundreds of people and heard that students and staff would like more support staff such as hall monitors or social workers, but do generally feel safe at their schools.
The report noted that staff and emergency services personnel responded quickly after Aminzada’s stabbing, with central staff members coming together from across the system to function as a crisis response team.
“Horrific as it was, the incident was handled well, and the policies and procedures stood up well,” Forbes noted.
“Once approved, our staff will begin to (implement) the recommendations in the report,” he said.
With files from Kristin Rushowy