Thought Crimes: (Canada) Trustee Resigns after Noting Link Between Refugees and School Violence…

An Edmonton public school trustee has resigned after linking refugee children to violence in schools.

Cheryl Johner, the Edmonton Public Schools trustee for Ward A, made the comments at the end of a lengthy meeting Tuesday focused on the future of school resource officers (SROs) — a controversial, decades-old program that deploys city police officers to local schools.


Ward G trustee Bridget Stirling had brought forward a motion asking for an independent study of the SRO program following concerns about the impact armed police officers have on marginalized students. While the board approved the review, a motion to suspend the program pending its outcome failed on a tie vote. Johner opposed the motion.

“My mind goes to the number of refugee students that come into our district that are from wartorn countries, that have never known school before arriving here,” Johner said via video conference. “All they’ve known is violence. When those students — sometimes — enter our schools, they can be violent there as well.


“And I feel that the safety of students is critically important, that other students feel safe as they go to their own schools. The officers act as a deterrent, they can respond quickly to de-escalate situations when needed,” she said.

On Wednesday afternoon, Johner announced her resignation, effective immediately.

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