Public school board reconsiders uniformed police officers

Public school board reconsiders uniformed police officers

The Ottawa-Carleton District School Board now allows police officer parents to appear in classrooms in uniform.

The board said it examines all uniform requests from parents to "assess the learning opportunity and consider it in the context of alignment with the board direction to have an emergency response-based relationship with police."

The board allows uniformed police officers to attend job fairs, take-your-parent-to-school days, and class presentations.

Last Monday, Ontario Minister of Education Stephen Lecce wrote to all public school boards that they must allow parents to wear their uniforms as guest speakers.

"Those school boards who are not allowing parents in their service uniforms are enabling division instead of bringing all segments of civil society together as we work to counter very real threats to communities across the province," Lecce wrote.

Despite protests, school board maintains police uniform ban. The letter responded to the public board's interim regulation requiring police officers to remove their uniforms while speaking in schools.

In 2021, trustees decided to eliminate school SROs. One trustee opposed. The board chose to merely work with police to "meet its minimum statutory obligations under the relevant provincial protocols."

The board suspended formal interactions with uniformed police officers in non-urgent situations while the parties worked out a solution.

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