Union calling on Ontario to hire support staff to address school violence

TORONTO — A union representing education workers in Ontario is calling on the province to hire more support staff to help students and address a recent rise in violence in and around schools.

The president of Ontario School Board Council of Unions at the Canadian Union of Public Employees says trained and available mental health workers and teacher assistants should be available on site in every school to support to students who are struggling.

Laura Walton says she is concerned the issue of school violence issue will get worse in the coming weeks and months and immediate action is needed to address it.

The Ontario government didn't respond to a comment request immediately.

A school outreach worker was injured in a shooting during a fight at Toronto's East York Alternative Secondary School on Thursday.

The Toronto District School Board has said it will take additional steps to ensure safety at its schools by creating a student engagement and safety team at every high school and an audit team to work with schools to ensure safety policies and procedures are being followed.

The decision followed a rash of school violence including a fatal shooting outside a school on Oct. 31st and a stabbing inside another school in November that left a student with life-threatening injuries.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Jan. 13, 2023.

The Canadian Press