TVDSB claims violence hasn’t increased at Saunders amidst student concerns over fights, bullying

After numerous reports of violent incidents at Saunders Secondary School, some students have expressed concerns about feeling unsafe on school grounds.

Multiple students told CTV News that there were several incidents including bullying and damage to property that have taken place inside the school.

“It is a distraction while you’re in class, I know some kids are a little scared,” said Laura, a grade 10 student.

Speaking about one incident Laura said, “On the first floor they shattered all of the cafeteria windows and the salon windows and knocked over a vending machine,”

Other students have said that fights have taken place in the parking lot across the street at the Westmount Shopping Center as hundreds of students often visit the mall on their break.

“I do get scared sometimes,” said Isha, a grade nine student. “I don’t think my mom read the reviews before she sent me to Saunders.

“They’re mad about what people have said about the school because it’s all true,” said another student who believes the school is concerned with its image, after claims that students have come forward after being bullied.

According to London Police Service (LPS) Media Relations Officer Cst. Scott Mandich, since October 1, 2021 London police have received 28 calls at Saunders for a variety of reasons — some include assaults, mental health calls, property damage, thefts and more.

“We always take these incidents seriously and investigate them fully,” said Dennis Wright, TVDSB’s superintendent, safe schools and well-being.

Despite student concerns about the series of fights taking place, the superintendent told CTV News that the amount of incidents at Saunders has not increased.

“There hasn’t been an increase in specific to Saunders, there’s been an increase in general in the population and we may see that play out over a variety of different schools.”

Wright also addressed concerns raised about a lack of suspensions at the school.

“I know there’s a narrative that we’re not suspending students. That’s untrue. We’ve suspended students across the valley. We’ve expelled students. That’s part of a progressive discipline policy in place,” Wright added.

When asked if any new measures would be put in place the superintendent said that they will be enforcing practices that are already in place.

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