Saturday, November 25, 2017

Appeasing Black Lives Matter 

"Officers in schools, in uniform, create a safer learning environment and foster relationships between the police and young people."
"Partnerships like the ones we develop with schools are at the core of the service's modernization efforts to move toward a neighbourhood-centric model of policing."
Meaghan Gray, spokeswoman, Toronto Police Services

"In the face of this data [report from staff at Toronto District School Board] we have a clear duty to act on behalf of our students, and address the concerns they have brought to our attention."
"Staff will continue to work with police in order to build a partnership [with police] that honours the voices of all students."
"[It is the board's priority] to mitigate against the differentiated and discriminatory impact of the School Resource Officer [SRO] program."
Toronto District School Board

"When someone sees you talking to the police, they think you are a snitch.
"And that's if. Your life is over."
Unnamed student

"It's good [to have uniformed police in the school] in case there is a serious situation where someone could get dangerously injured."
"SROs don't really harass people in the school. They ask  you what is the problem."
Unnamed student
The School Resource Officers program was launched in 2008, one year after Grade 9 student Jordan manners was shot and killed at C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate. He was 15.
The School Resource Officers program was launched in 2008, one year after Grade 9 student Jordan Manners was shot and killed at C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate. He was 15. (Nathan Denette/Canadian Press)

The problem is that there is a problem and the solution that appeared to work very well, has been rejected by the very students that represent the problem, while the students who benefit from the presence of police have had their opinions stifled. All it takes is one dissenting voice, irrespective of the obvious that the dissenter represents a minority whose actions have brought the police presence into the schools as a preventive measure, to begin with.

This is the era of political correctness. So the fact that among the black community gangs and illicit activities and anti-social behaviour is a threat to the majority of students' safety requires mediation of a type that will influence the outcome toward safety for both potential malefactors and their victims  can be set aside in deference to the complaints of the aggressors, ignoring the needs of the victims, appears to give the appeasers great sanctimonious satisfaction.

No segment of any community appreciates being singled out as appearing to be a potential threat to the larger community.And because of course it is a group within a group in that the sociopathic action of a small percentage of the target group that is at fault, the entire group feels ill done by, through default association. In the black community of Toronto there is a penchant among youth to gravitate toward gangs, guns and drugs.

Violence erupts on occasion, sometimes lethal violence, and the black community in its entirety seems to close ranks instinctively. Not only are witnesses not available for police investigative aid, but the greater community is aggrieved that public attention is focused on them. Safety for students in the schools is an obvious concern for parents. And when an initiative was undertaken years ago to have uniformed police monitor schools and make themselves available in a preemptive capacity, tensions declined.

The police made an effort to present themselves as social peacemakers and intermediaries. They were there to help, to befriend, to offer advice and alternatives. The reason for their presence acknowledged, and inevitably a level of resentment occurs. A 15-year-old student was shot and killed at C.W. Jeffreys Collegiate Institute in 2007; a year later the School Resource Officer program was initiated. It has served as an effective preventive service since then.
A Toronto police officer chats to students at North Albion Collegiate in 2008, during the early days of the program to place officers in schools.
A Toronto police officer chats to students at North Albion Collegiate in 2008, during the early days of the program to place officers in schools.  (STEVE RUSSELL / TORONTO STAR FILE PHOTO)

It gave comfort and support to parents, it offered substantive assurances to students concerned about the proclivities of some students to anti-social activities. Threats declined, and a kind of truce was put in effect. Now, complaints from a number of students and general agreement from the black community to put an end to the program has resonated with the largest school board in the greater Toronto area, anxious to respond to criticism.

Rodney Diverlus of Black Lives Matter Toronto averred that his group, aggressively promoting action favourable to what the black community deems is equal treatment in the greater community, was "cautiously optimistic" school board trustees acceding to the report's recommendation that the SRO program represents a "reactionary measure" in response to a single incident.

"This report has really corroborated many of the claims that parents, that youth and students in our community have been saying since the introduction of the SROs", he said. As far as Black Lives Matter is concerned, social workers, child behaviour therapists, hall monitors and increased faculty engagement with students would result in greater effectiveness responding to student needs.

On the other hand, the Toronto District School Board staff report declared their review had found the majority of those they surveyed held a positive impression of the program. Some, it notedm felt intimidated by the presence of a police officer in their school, while many others were unaware of the program and were completely unaffected by it. They still felt impelled to 'mitigate' what is perceived as a discriminatory program.
"[The decision to stop the SRO program] followed recommendations earlier this month from TDSB staff, who called for termination of the program based on results of a six-week review and input from thousands of students, staff, parents and community members. It included surveys completed by 15,500 students with police in their schools."
"While a majority of teens reported being satisfied with the SRO program, or had no opinion, staff concluded the thousands who did say that having officers at school made them feel uncomfortable, intimidated and targeted were far too significant to dismiss."
"While 57 per cent said having police in school made them feel safer, 46 per cent said they weren’t sure they wanted the program to continue. But 1,715 (11 per cent) said the presence of an officer intimidated them and 2,207 — or 14 per cent — said they felt watched and targeted as a result."
"The staff report, applauded by groups like Black Lives Matter, the Urban Alliance on Race Relations and others who wanted officers removed from schools, was unanimously endorsed by the TDSB’s planning and priorities committee last week following a parade of delegates who appeared before them to support the move."
"They argued the presence of armed police was detrimental to many Black youth, undocumented teens who felt threatened even though they have a legal right to education, and other marginalized groups. Many proposed that instead of having police on school property, the board should put more resources toward hiring youth counsellors, social workers and launching anti-racism programs."

Toronto Board Removing Police Officers From Schools  -- Huffington Post   

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