With the start of classes last week, several students were injured in a stabbing at Sir George Ross Secondary School in London. A man is stabbed outside a school in Toronto. This week, two students stabbed behind Bloor Collegiate Institute. Again in London, a school lockdown is initiated at Westminster Secondary School after reports of someone wandering the property with a handgun are received. Even today, reports are received of a man wandering through a Brampton elementary school with a shotgun.
The incidents prompt responses from the constabulary that schools are safe.
"Our schools are safe," (London Police) Chief Murray Faulkner said yesterday.The LPS is one of many that has school-based community resource officers, whose appearance in and of itself has drawn coverage and concern over the safety of schools, and in the linked example, whether their presence is the most appropriate option.
"But we have to keep in mind that schools are a reflection of a our society and we are seeing more and younger people involved in violence than ever before," Faulkner said. "It's not like the old days when two people have a disagreement and fight and maybe even become friends afterwards. Now there's a group mentality that kicks in where all the friends get involved. That then heightens the violence and the chance for more severe injuries."
Are these incidents coincidental? Or are the symptomatic of a changing demographic? Or are school-based incidents simply being reported more frequently in the media than in the past?