Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

Children walk with their parents to Sherwood Park Elementary in North Vancouver for the first day back to school, Thursday, Sept. 10, 2020. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward

New Westminster school district votes to immediately cancel police liaison program

Vancouver school district officials have also pulled the program

A second school district in British Columbia has ended a program that put uniformed officers in its elementary, middle and secondary schools, but trustees are not rejecting further links with police.

New Westminster school board members voted Tuesday night to immediately end the district’s child and youth liaison officer program due to concerns that armed officers could be disturbing to racialized or LGBTQ youth.

A letter from the board to the chief of the New Westminster Police says cancellation of the program is not a reflection on the department or its staff.

The letter says the board looks forward to working with the force to develop a new relationship.

Trustees in Vancouver voted Monday to cancel that district’s school liaison officer program at the end of June, in a decision the Vancouver Police Department called “political” and “disappointing.”

The Vancouver School Board has also proposed a “new relationship” with police to develop “trauma-informed approaches to working with children and youth.”

The Canadian Press

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