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John Tory meets with TDSB to discuss ‘extremely troubling’ school violence

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Toronto Mayor John Tory says he met with officials from the Toronto District School Board on Monday to discuss “extremely troubling” incidents of violence at schools and in communities involving youth.

Tory said he met with TDSB chair Rachel Chernos Lin, vice-chair Neethan Shan, director of education Colleen Russell-Rawlins, as well as City Councillor Chris Moise, Toronto police representatives and senior City of Toronto staff.

Tory said the group committed to “increased co-operation” between the City and the TDSB to address the violence.

“Specifically, 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,” he said.

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“We also committed to increased co-operation in responding to violent incidents, increased access and partnerships with local community-based organizations and the City, and to increased information sharing.”

Tory said they will also work to secure and distribute funding from other governments, in addition to co-ordinating other supports, including summer jobs for students.

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On Nov. 14, there was a stabbing at Birchmount Park Collegiate that left a 17-year-old student with serious injuries.

Read more: 1 teen dead, 1 injured after shooting in front of Toronto high school: police

The stabbing came two weeks after a shooting outside Woburn Collegiate Institute, another high school in the east end, that left one student dead and injured another.

After the Birchmount Park stabbing, Tory called for a meeting with police and TDSB officials.

“We all agree that violence in schools is unacceptable and we must do everything we can to stop it,” Tory said after Monday’s meeting.

“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…

“Stopping violence in schools will take a co-ordinated, non-stop effort by everyone.”

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— With files from The Canadian Press

Today, I met with @tdsb, @TorontoPolice, senior @CityofToronto staff and others to discuss the extremely troubling incidents of violence in and around schools and in our communities involving young people.

Please read my full statement below.

— John Tory (@TorontosMayor) November 28, 2022