Provincially-funded security measures still not in place at London-area public schools
London, CTV London
Published Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:28PM EDT
Last Updated Wednesday, September 4, 2013 6:39PM EDT
The kids are back in the classroom, but security measures promised by the public school board still aren’t in place.
Last year, the Liberal government of then-premier Dalton McGuinty announced additional funding for the “Safe Welcome” program.
The decision was made shortly after a December 2012 shooting which claimed the lives of 20 Sandy Hook Elementary School students in Newton, Connecticut.
The Safe Welcome funds are geared to helping schools implement a locked-door policy for any elementary school entrances accessible to the general public, with the Thames Valley District School Board receiving about $400,000.
But an investigation by CTV London reporter Christina Howorun last May found that many public schools still had a system that relied on visitors entering the school to voluntarily report to the office, rather than having them buzzed in by staff.
And that still remains the case, with Thames Valley District School Board Superintendent Karen Edgar saying they want to hold public meetings before making any changes.
“The trustees requested that we do further public consultations with each of our school councils and our school communities in order to respect the diversity of our schools’ communities.”
This, despite the fact that the London District Catholic School Board and the board overseeing French-language schools have already implemented a locked-door policy for all their schools.
The public board meetings could take months to complete and appear to open the door for some schools to opt out of a locked-doors policy.
Some parents aren’t pleased with the board’s decision and feel it’s an unnecessary delay, including JoAnne Langdon, “That’s not fair. Why can’t we have the surveillance? We’ve had problems with this school for several years where a gentleman has even gone into the girl’s bathroom.”
The Thames Valley board has actually had to request an extension giving it until March, 2014 to spend the money on security measures.