SD20 urges caution for unsanctioned graduation events

SD20 cautions parents after receiving reports of hazing younger students.

Grad weekend is almost here for the Grade 12 students at J.L. Crowe Secondary School, and school officials want parents to know that some unsanctioned events can be harmful.

On Tuesday afternoon, School District 20 (SD20) sent a letter addressed to the parents of high school students, warning them about unapproved grad weekend events, like the camp out, grad parties where alcohol is being served and hazing with wooden paddles.

J.L. Crowe Principal David DeRosa, says while there was no specific event that prompted the writing of the letter, the school’s Parent Advisory Council (PAC) had received some complaints from community members leading up to the big weekend.

“Our PAC received formal letters from concerned parents talking specifically about the paddling,” he said, mentioning that there have been reports of graduating students using wooden paddles to hit younger students as a sort of initiation. “That was new to me, but we wanted to emphasize it. We (at the school and district) had a good conversation about it and we felt that the time was right to let the community know that we don’t support it, and in fact, we don’t want it.”

The letter told parents that hazing younger students with a paddle would be seen as assault with a weapon, and the offending students could face reaction from the RCMP if reported. Students who are found to have participated in the hazing will “lose the privilege of participating in the graduations ceremony and citizenship-related scholarships and bursaries.”

The letter also addresses the long-standing student tradition of going on a grad ‘camp out,’ where in the past, there has been heavy drinking and safety concerns. Parents were informed that students who arrive at school the day after the camp out smelling of alcohol and wood smoke will be sent home, as outlined in the district code of conduct.

DeRosa says that by sending out the letter ahead of grad, the district and schools are getting in front of the issue and hopes it starts some family discussions.

“Historically, we have said that these things are not associated with us, so it wasn’t our responsibility,” he said. “But, they are our kids. That is how I look at it. I want to do whatever I can to keep them safe and have a happy and successful grad. They need to know that some of these things aren’t appropriate. We are hoping that letter to parents brings up a conversation. Some of our teachers have told me that some of the younger kids have been asking about (paddling and the camp out).”

It isn’t just the parents that are getting the message. Students have been, and will be, reminded of the same rules before grad weekend arrives. Even younger students who will be going through the graduation process next year are included in the discussion.

“We meet with the Grade 11 students at this time of year and tell them now that Grad 2015 is wrapping up, it will be their turn,” said DeRosa. “We start the one-year countdown. We just want to remind them of the district code of conduct and our expectations. Teachers are reiterating the message in classrooms, but that is not formal. We talk about safety as our primary concern.”

J.L. Crowe Grad Weekend officially takes off with the formal cap and gown ceremony on June 12 at 7 p.m. at Cominco Arena. The next day is the annual Memory Walk and Prom, which is alcohol free. For more information about grad weekend, visit the J.L. Crowe website.

Just Posted

B.C. BUDGET: Surplus $374 million after bailouts of BC Hydro, ICBC

Growth projected stronger in 2020, Finance Minister Carole James says

Lemon Creek fuel truck driver gets $20,000 fine

Danny LaSante was sentenced in Nelson court today

Actsafe BC brings expertise, new lighting to Trail theatre

Consultants are all technical directors in Vancouver theatres with years of experience in the field

Hospital improvements good news for entire region, says Trail mayor

West Kootenay-Boundary Regional Hospital District Board will review the matter next month

Life insurance can be a business expense

Tax Tips & Pits with Ron Clarke, Trail Times columnist

VIDEO: 8 things you need to know about the 2019 B.C. budget

Surplus of $247 million with spending on children, affordability and infrastructure

‘Bullet missed me by an inch’: Man recounts friend’s killing at Kamloops hotel

Penticton man witnessed Summerland resident Rex Gill’s murder in Kamloops

B.C. BUDGET: Income assistance raise still leaves many below poverty line

$50 per month increase included in funding for poverty and homelessness reduction

B.C. BUDGET: Indigenous communities promised billions from gambling

Extended family caregiver pay up 75 per cent to keep kids with relatives

B.C. BUDGET: New benefit increases family tax credits up to 96 per cent

BC Child Opportunity Benefit part of province’s efforts to reduce child poverty

B.C. BUDGET: Carbon tax boosts low-income credits, electric vehicle subsidies

Homeowners can get up to $14,000 for heating, insulation upgrades

B.C. man survives heart attack thanks to Facebook

A Princeton man suffered a heart attack while at an isolated property with no cell service

B.C. man sues Maxime Bernier’s People’s Party over trademark

Satinder Dhillon filed application for trademark same day Maxime Bernier announced the new party

New trial ordered over banning whales, dolphins at Vancouver aquarium

Park board’s appeal reverses previous decision that found it had no right to implement a ban

Most Read