Vancouver public schools will no longer see uniformed officers assigned to them after Vancouver School Board trustees voted to end the school liaison program.
The vote was held on Monday (April 26th), and was 8-1, just one short of a unanimous decision.
The decision was supported by the Vancouver District Parent Advisory Council along with other groups that work closely with schools, and teachers.
The program first came under review a year ago due to concerns that uniformed officers make students anxious and uncomfortable, especially BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, or/and People Of Colour) students who have historically been marginalized by authorities.
Recent events and movements in the past few years, such as the BLM movement in the US, have shed a spotlight on systemic racism among police departments all over the US, but also in other countries such as Canada.
The school board, Vancouver police and RCMP are hopeful in developing a new relationship based on trauma-informed approaches to working with children and youth.
This decision could inspire and bring forward similar legislation and discussions in neighboring cities/communities as well.