Dear Parents/Guardians of Grade 11 and 12 students:
We are looking forward to seeing all of our Grade 11 and 12 students on September 3, 2019, as they begin their most exciting and, probably, most challenging years of secondary school. North Vancouver School District staff are excited to inspire success for all of our graduates.
I do, however, have an important safety advisory for parents and guardians of our senior students. The Labour Day weekend has typically been a time when some youth, particularly those in their "grad year", participate in unauthorized social gatherings that quite often involve alcohol, drugs and vandalism.
These gatherings are disruptive to neighbourhoods and harmful to the young people involved. Underage drinking and drug use are of particular concern because they can negatively impact thoughts, moods and judgements. With young people in particular, alcohol and drugs can create a sense of immunity or invincibility that is the prelude to a host of risk-taking behaviours.
These types of activities are not sanctioned by schools and we want to support law enforcement in their work to keep our communities safe. With this in mind, we are joining the RCMP, local fire departments, the District of North Vancouver and the City of North Vancouver in sending this advisory. The RCMP has expressed zero tolerance and strict enforcement of all laws and regulations pertaining to social gatherings over the Labour Day weekend. Penalties for youth who violate laws will include, but not necessarily be limited to, being directly ticketed with fines of $230.00 or more.
Grade 11 and 12 students are role models and set the atmosphere for their schools. While we anticipate this year's senior students will exemplify positive leadership and reinforce an encouraging, welcoming and beneficial tone for their schools, we also realize there is a lot of excitement surrounding the graduating year. As mentioned, some social events do not uphold the true, positive nature of our students, and we ask that students consider that the choices they make will impact their school year and that of others.
Thank you for your attention to this important safety message. I hope it helps facilitate family conversations about youth social responsibility and safe celebrations. We look forward to welcoming back our students next week.
Superintendent of Schools