Premier Dalton McGuinty
Ontario is providing renewed funding to elementary schools across the province to support a locked-door policy while students are in class.
At the St. Fidelis Catholic Elementary School in Toronto, the Premier announced that the Safe Welcome Program would be reopened for applications. The program provides funding to schools that need support to install devices that give staff more control over who enters the school.
Student safety is one of Ontario’s top priorities. The McGuinty government is committed to working with its education partners to provide the resources they need to reasonably ensure a safe and positive learning environment for every student.
“When parents send their kids off to school they are putting their trust in us, and we have to get it right. That’s why our government is committed to providing safe, welcoming places to learn for all our kids. It’s up to us to take all reasonable steps available to us to protect our kids. Locking school doors is a reasonable step.”
—Dalton McGuinty, Premier of Ontario
“As a mother with two boys in school, I know our education partners take student safety seriously and provide an outstanding learning environment. A locked-door policy will help strengthen the good work already being done in schools to support the well-being of students.”
— Laurel Broten, Minister of Education
The government has provided funding to nearly 850 of Ontario’s 4,000 elementary schools for access device systems such as new locking doors, security cameras and buzzers.
Ontario has expanded the Safe Welcome Program’s original criteria so it now includes schools that have front doors visible from the main office.
Every school board has in place a Local Police/School Board Protocol, which requires every school to have a lock-down plan in place that is practised twice a year.
Professional development and training has been provided for school and school board staff and local police services to implement the local protocol at both the elementary and secondary levels.