A media report is circulating that a Toronto Police officer told a local private school to advise their female students not to wear their uniforms on public transit. That statement was taken out of context says Constable Wendy Drummond.
Greenwood College's principal Allan Hardy sent an email to the student body and their parents advising the female students to consider not wearing their uniforms en route to school after an incident on Friday morning.
During the incident two female students were on the TTC talking about which stop to get off for their route to school. The girls felt that a five foot six, skinny, white male with light brown hair and black-framed glasses was leering at them and they felt uncomfortable said Constable Wendy Drummond during a phone interview.
"The girls got off of the TTC and noticed that the man was following them. They went to their school and informed their principal about the incident," Drummond said, adding that was exactly the right thing for the girls to do.
Drummond said that Hardy then called the police, not to make a police report but to obtain advice on what to tell the student body. The officer that Hardy spoke to gave four key pieces of advice to help protect students on route to school after taking a police report of the incident.
The officer's advice was:
* Travel in pairs whenever possible.
* Know where the panic button is on the subway and use it if you feel threatened.
* Don't discuss your travel plans while on public transit. Everyone around you can hear those plans as well.
The officer then asked if the school provided an area for all students, male and female, to change from street clothes into their school uniform. School uniforms announce to the public where a child is going to be during school hours without the child having to say a word.
"The officer's advice was taken out of context in the email that was sent out by the principal," Drummond stated.
The advice given by the officer is sound for everyone Drummond said, adding that even work uniforms can let others know where a person will be at during certain hours.
"The advice was directed at all students, by wearing a school uniform your child is telling everyone where they will be spending their day," she said, "The same can be said of work uniforms."
While most of the people taking public transit are safe there is always a certain criminal element. These criminals will look for any clue they can to identify a potential victim. Being aware of your surroundings and not giving out information that could make you a target is important for your personal safety.