Officers welcome in schools ‘in uniform or not,’ board says

Board apologizes for treatment of OPP officer

Police officers, “in uniform or not,” are now welcome in schools, the Grand Erie District School Board says.

“As a board, we value the work and dedication of police officers, an as parents, they are welcome in our schools, whether in uniform or not,” the board said in a statement posted on its website on Thursday.

The updated statement comes after barrage of criticism after Postmedia’s Brian Lilley and reports on social media said a Grand Erie school board superintendent had told an OPP officer, who is also the parent of a student, that he couldn’t attend career day.

The officer/parent was reportedly told that immigrant and refugee children often have had bad experiences with police and encountering one might traumatize them.

The board, in a statement earlier this week, apologized for the incident and said it was a miscommunication.

The updated statement, posted Thursday, is the same as the earlier statement with one exception. It says officers are welcome “in uniform or not.”

The updated statement comes after Brantford Police Chief Rob Davis, Jeremy Morton, the president of the Brantford Police Association, Mark Baxter, president of the Ontario Police Association and Brantford-Brant MPP Will Bouma criticized the board’s refusal to allow uniformed officers in its schools. It can be viewed at

The board’s stance with respect to uniformed officers, has resulted in the cancellation or changes to programs that involve Brantford police officers.

The Adopt-A-School program has been canceled and police officers were no longer participating in a One-Stop Grad program which provides dress clothes to marginalized students.

After organizing a party for safety patrollers last year, the officer who runs the program was told to leave the pizzas and awards at the door. The officer was wearing a Brantford police golf shirt.

The controversy over uniformed officers in schools erupted as the board finishes a review of the school resource officer program. The program was put on hold during the COVID-19 pandemic and the board announced the review in March 2023.

The review is expected to be completed by June 2023.

[email protected]