Thursday, September 20, 2012

Reporters ordered to stay off Don Bosco property when Mayor Ford coaches football

Accompanied by a police officer, the principal of Don Bosco Catholic Secondary School told journalists standing on the public sidewalk outside the school Wednesday that they cannot set foot on the property.
Reporters have occasionally attended Don Bosco’s football games and practices in recent years to observe and speak with the Eagles’ coach, Mayor Rob Ford. The media presence has increased since the revelation last week that Ford aides who are paid by taxpayers help to manage the team using a city-owned car and cellphones.
Principals have the legal authority to order people off school property for any reason. But it is rare for members of the public to be denied access after school hours.
“We don’t understand why a high school principal would want to involve himself in preventing Toronto media from following up on a continuing story examining the allegations that the mayor is misusing taxpayers’ money,” said Star Editor Michael Cooke. “Watching a football practice or game with other spectators is not intrusive or distracting to the players or staff involved.”
Catholic school board spokesperson John Yan said the board is “trying to be fair to everyone” but that its priority is to protect Don Bosco students.Reporters at Don Bosco have sought to interview Ford and his aides, not Eagles players. But the board is concerned that players have become peripherally involved in the political drama after their practices.

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