July 30th, 2020

NDP statement on the pause of the SRO program in Peel Schools

TORONTO – NDP MPPs Kevin Yarde (Brampton North), Sara Singh (Brampton Centre), and Gurratan Singh (Brampton East) issued a joint statement regarding Peel Regional Police’s announcement that the School Resource Officer (SRO) Program has been paused in Peel schools:

“The pause of the SRO program in Peel schools is an important step towards ensuring that Black students in Peel know and feel that their safety, their dignity and their learning are prioritized in their classrooms. This victory is only possible because of the tireless work of community leaders, advocates, students and parents.

To ensure this progress is lasting, it is critical that Peel Regional Police, as well as the Peel District School Board, build on this first step and continue listening to community, by moving immediately to end the SRO program.

It is clear that police officers are not trained or qualified to be mental health professionals, nurses, social workers, mediators, guidance counsellors, or disciplinarians in our schools – nor should they be. Instead, all levels of government should be prioritizing investments in these professionals and ensuring that they have the anti-racism and anti-oppression training, experience, expertise and cultural competency necessary to serve the communities they work in.

Today, and every day, New Democrats stand in solidarity with Black communities in Peel and across the province, who are demanding that government listen, step up and actually do the work of rooting out anti-Black racism in all of our institutions. Together, we can build a future where every young person knows and feels that they are safe and valued, and is empowered to reach their full potential.”