North Albion Students Supported

By Ron Fanfair, Toronto Police Service Published: 3 p.m. September 24, 2014

Police have stepped up their presence around North Albion Collegiate Institute where a teenager was fatally stabbed in the school just after noon on September 23.

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TPS Crest at 23 Division Station

It was reported to police that Hamid Aminzada, 19, was trying to defuse an incident between two other students when he was stabbed. He succumbed to his injuries in hospital.

A 17-year-old student turned himself into  23 Division station a few hours later with his lawyer and was charged with second-degree murder. He made a court appearance this morning.

At a press conference outside the school on September 24, 23 Division unit commander Superintendent Ron Taverner said three School Resource Officers (SROs) are at the educational institution today and a number of uniformed officers were outside to engage students and assure them that the school is safe.

“The uniformed officers will be talking to the young people,” he said. “We will review the situation as we go forward to see if their presence is still needed longer than that.”

Taverner praised the school’s staff and students for following security and incident procedures.

“They did things the right way and professionally and that aided everyone in a sense of feeling safe during that very tragic time,” he said.

Taverner said the school is safe despite the tragedy.

“Absolutely, it could happen anywhere,” he added. “It can happen in the shopping plaza down the road or anywhere. Certainly someone could have a knife in their pocket that could go undetected anywhere basically. Because this happened in a school it’s obviously very tragic. But the reality is those types of weapons could be secreted on anyone.”

SROs Constables Trevor Merza and Adam Halagian, who are assigned to North Albion were not at the school at the time of the incident. They also have responsibility for Kipling Collegiate Institute, Father Henry Carr Catholic Secondary School and West Humber Collegiate. They, along with another SRO, are working at the school in support of students.

Toronto District School Board Director of Education Donna Quan joined Taverner at the press conference.

Despite concerns about weapons in schools, she said the board does not plan to install metal detectors.

“Metal detectors are at the entry point of schools,” she said. “Knives and other weapons can get in through windows. We don’t believe that metal detectors in any of our schools will prevent something like this from happening. It’s not something that I would advocate for and support…I recognize clearly that there are concerns, but metal detectors are not the answer. We don’t want to create fortresses and situations where our students are patted down and checked before they enter school. We want to have conversations and if there are situations that occur, there are processes in place to address them.”

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