Statement by Premier Dalton McGuinty on School Safety
Today, Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty issued the following statement on school safety in Ontario:
"Like so many Ontarians, I was grief stricken to learn of the devastating events that occurred in Connecticut on Friday. Our hearts are heavy with sadness for the Sandy Hook community and we stand with them as they try to cope with an unimaginable grief.
No matter where they might happen in the world, events such as this one can shake our sense of security. And many will have questions about what we are doing here in Ontario to keep our schools safe.
I want to offer some reassurance to parents that there are measures in place to protect our children from harm in what should be a peaceful place of learning.
Our government has provided funding through our Safe Welcome program to many of Ontario's elementary schools, to provide security devices to protect students from intruders. Indeed, at Ontario elementary schools all entrances are kept locked during the school day to prevent entry from anyone who does not have authorization from walking through their doors.
And last year, our Ministry of Education and Ministry of Community Safety and Correctional Services revised procedures for school boards and police on how to handle violence at schools. Schools are now required, for example, to hold a minimum of two lockdown drills each school year.
We've worked closely with administrators and teachers to make our schools safer. We will continue that work to ensure our schools remain safe places of learning and mentoring for students, families and those who work in them.
On behalf of all Ontarians, I want to take this opportunity to thank our teachers, administrators and school staff for all they do to keep our children safe every day."