Why don’t high schools with violence problems use metal detectors?
After the Jordan Manners shooting at C.W. Jefferys in 2007, the use of metal detectors was hotly debated by trustees, administrators and parent groups. The reason the devices have yet to be installed at a single Toronto high school, like all things involving the TDSB, is complicated. At $22,500 per unit, they don’t come cheap (and the public school system was cash-poor long before the recent crash). They also aren’t a cure‑all. As TDSB executive superintendent Donna Quan notes, “Metal detectors don’t protect students in the field or parking lot.” But the biggest obstacle has been the view that singling out schools would sully their reputations. Until the most recent violent incident at C. W. Jefferys (a student was stabbed in the stomach last November), parents wouldn’t even agree to placing a police officer on school grounds. Plans are now in motion for a full-time cop. Given the strikes against metal detectors, however, the likelihood of seeing them installed any time soon is right up there with getting duck à l’orange from the lunch lady.
• Question from Stephanie Gordon in Eglinton West
Wondering about the waterfront? Curious about construction? Perplexed by politics? Ask the Urban Decoder a question here.