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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