The City of Toronto will be working with the Toronto District School Board to prioritize schools that need enhanced youth programming, mental health supports and food security initiatives, the mayor said on Monday.
Mayor John Tory said he met with representatives from the board as well as Toronto police and city staff to discuss what he calls troubling violence involving young people.
Toronto has seen a series of violent incidents at and around several high schools recently, including a shooting that left one dead and another injured outside a school in the city’s east end and a stabbing that left one student in critical condition.
Tory said the city committed to increased co-operation with the TDSB in responding to violent incidents, as well as increased partnerships with community-based organizations.
“We all agree that violence in schools is unacceptable and we must do everything we can to stop it,” he said.
“The City will work with the school board to prioritize schools that require enhanced youth programming, mental health and well-being supports as well as food security initiatives in schools.”
Tory said the city and the TDSB will also work together to secure and deploy targeted funding from other governments to help address violence in schools.
It will take a co-ordinated effort between school boards, police, community organizations and residents to end school violence, he said.
“Beyond the direct impact on victims and their families, these incidents create tensions and insecurities among students, teachers, and parents which simply shouldn’t be prevalent in our schools or in our communities,” Tory said.
A 17-year-old student was taken to hospital with life-threatening injuries after a stabbing inside Birchmount Park Collegiate in Toronto’s east end on Nov. 14 as students were being dismissed for the day.
That came two weeks after a shooting outside Woburn Collegiate Institute, another high school in the east end, left one student dead and injured another.
The stabbing at Birchmount Park Collegiate was the second stabbing at that school this year, after a 14-year-old student was stabbed outside the high school in April.
– with files from Tyler Griffin.
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Nov. 28, 2022.
This story was produced with the financial assistance of the Meta and Canadian Press News Fellowship.