Number of violent incidents at WRDSB schools have risen sharply this year


A staff report received by the Waterloo Region District School Board on Monday night says that violent incidents at public schools in the area have doubled over a quarter of this school year. It notes that there have been 606 incidents between Nov. 16, 2022 and the end of January, with the vast majority of those having occurred at elementary schools in the area.Of the incidents, there were 564 (as opposed to 252 a year earlier) at area elementary schools with the report breaking them down into four categories.There were 395 incidents which came under the hazard category, which includes potential issues or near misses.The rest fell under categories which are a little dicier including 156 which needed minor first aid including small scrapes or scratches, five in which staff needed help from an outside medical practitioner and eight which required employees to miss time at work. Story continues below advertisement 2:33 School safety top of mind after another shooting inside a Toronto school As far as secondary schools, there were 42 incidents reported over the same time frame vs. just 18 a year earlier. Trending Now Of those, 18 fell under the hazard category while 21 required first aid, one person needed outside health care while two others needed to take time off work after the incident.Graham Shantz, the associate director of WRDSB, said that the sudden increase in numbers can partially be attributed to students simply being back in school after years of disruptions from the COVID-10 pandemic.“The previous two years have been very unique years in our school system,” he said at the meeting. “We have had big expanses in time where students have not been in schools.” Story continues below advertisement Shantz said that while numbers are up as opposed to the 2019-20 school year, they are in the same ballpark.He also speculated that some students may still be adjusting to being in a classroom environment after having been homeschooled during the pandemic.“We have had a lot of students come back to a school system, that have not experienced a school system in a number of years, and that’s a very challenging and traumatic adjustment for students,” he said.“In some of those cases, the students have not been in school at all. In the case of our youngest learners and for other students, they are making the transition from an environment where they were learning at home remotely to a very different structured environment.” &copy 2023 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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