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York police urge parents to phone schools for absent kids after potential strike averted

York police are urging parents to notify schools of absent students, who stayed home for a potential strike that was averted.
York police are urging parents to notify schools of absent students, who stayed home for a potential strike that was averted. Nick Westoll / File / Global News

NEWMARKET, Ont. – Police north of Toronto say they’re tied up with calls about kids who are missing from schools, in what they suspect is a rash of absences linked to a strike that didn’t happen.

York Regional Police are asking parents who kept their children home from class in anticipation of an education workers’ strike to call their schools and let them know.

The workers had threatened to walk off the job Monday if they didn’t reach a deal, leading dozens of school boards – including the one in York Region – to say they’d have to close their doors in the event of a strike.

READ MORE: CUPE education workers, Ontario government reach tentative deal to avoid strike

The strike was averted when the union and the province reached a tentative agreement late Sunday evening.

A spokesman for York police says the schools have a protocol in place called the Safe Arrival Program, which requires schools to reach out to parents if their kids don’t show up to class; if they can’t reach parents, their next call is to police.

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Const. Andy Pattenden says the police service had already sent officers out looking for nine kids by noon on Monday, with each of those calls requiring two officers.

CUPE announces tentative agreement with Ontario government to avert strike
CUPE announces tentative agreement with Ontario government to avert strike