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Police urge parents of absent kids to call schools so officers aren't tied up

File photo of a York Regional Police cruiser. CITYNEWS

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.

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.

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.

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