03/01/2014 16:41 EST | Updated 05/01/2014 05:59 EDT

TDSB meetings to have police presence following bullying among trustees

The Toronto District School Board is taking the unusual step of calling in security for its next meeting following reports of bullying by elected trustees.

A letter from TDSB Chair Chris Bolton, obtained by CBC News, sent to all trustees late Friday confirms that an off-duty police officer will be at the future board meetings.

"It is very disturbing and unfortunately not the only occurrence that I have personally witnessed in the past two months.  The director, senior staff and support staff are not feeling safe," he said in the letter.

A complaint was filed by Sam Sotiropoulos following Wednesday's planning and priorities meeting citing, "the unacceptable comportment" of Trustee Howard Goodman towards Director of Education Donna Quan regarding the non-payment of TDSB membership dues to the Ontario Public School Board Association.

"Trustee Goodman's tone and manner were threatening and unprofessional, un-befitting of an elected official vis-a-vis an employee of the TDSB. I, myself, felt uncomfortable and was frightened by his astonishing and disturbing display of anger," he said.

He's calling for an apology and disciplinary action.

Quan sent a letter to Bolton as well, expressing concern over the chronic behaviour of certain trustees.

"This incident is not unique and has prompted us to now write to you in order to express our grave concerns about the conduct that some trustees have displayed towards staff," she writes.

"It appears that our organization has come to condone a culture where it is acceptable for staff members to be subjected to abusive, threatening and insulting comments by elected officials… Threatening and intimidating behaviour creates a culture of fear and anxiety that impedes staff's ability to lead with confidence, and to provide honest and forthright advice without fear of reprisal."