After a fire forced their high school to close, the Toronto District School Board decided to relocate the roughly 900 students and teachers from York Memorial Collegiate Institute to the nearby George Harvey Collegiate Institute. But George Harvey wasn't equipped to absorb all those new kids, and students showed up in September to find a school that was over-crowded, under-staffed and unsafe for them and their teachers.
The York Memorial fiasco isn't just a one-off, either. The school's struggles highlight systemic challenges across Canada's largest school board, namely staffing shortages, crumbling facilities and the lack of funding to properly address those issues. And the situation may only get worse as thousands of children lag behind socially and academically after the pandemic kept them home for nearly two years.
At York Memorial, it took an outcry from students, teachers and staff to spark meaningful change. What will take to get those in power to give schools the money and resources they desperately need?
GUEST: Danielle Groen, Toronto-based writer and editor, wrote about York Memorial for Toronto Life