September 24, 2019
Dear Delta Parents & Guardians,
As you have likely seen and heard through the media, youth around the world have been staging rallies and other forms of peaceful protest in the effort to express their concern for their future on this planet. On the afternoon of Friday September 27, 2019, we expect that students from around the lower mainland will participate in numerous protests including one in Vancouver.
In the Delta School District, we have encouraged students to voice their opinions on important topics and expect that many may want to participate in this Friday’s action. Our district has focused on environmental sustainability as a system and have jointly worked alongside students in local and global environmental efforts as part of curricular and extracurricular work for decades. Our district is proud of its efforts, but is even more proud of the energy and passion that individual and groups of students have shown on numerous local projects including but not limited to shoreline cleanups, neighbourhood rain gardens, replacement of invasive plant species with native species, energy conservation programs and recycling and waste reduction programs.
We believe Delta students are free to exercise their democratic rights, and parents may choose to excuse their child(ren) from class for any reason they deem appropriate, including to attend these events.
With parental permission, we will record student absences, and students will not suffer any punitive action for their absence. If parents make a choice to excuse their children from school on Friday, September 27th, schools will follow normal routines of marking students as “excused” for the day. We are also asking our schools to ensure that if any students are excused by their parents for that afternoon, they be provided the opportunity to make up any missed work without penalty. We also expect that students speak with their teachers about missing school and the work they may need to complete.
This letter is to ensure that parents are informed and to know that we want to place the responsibility for a decision to participate (or not) in these rallies where it belongs, which is in the hands of our parents with their children. We encourage you to discuss this topic and this global movement with your children.
Student advocacy and engagement in civic and global issues is a key to our future. Developing a better understanding of the most emergent issues of our time is a key component of student advocacy. We believe this is embodied in the Delta School District Mission: To enable all learners to succeed and contribute their full potential to the future.
Delta School District
cc. Delta Board of Education