There are three possible options for a spring break for public school students and one was defeated at the board meeting on March 10.
The debate on whether or not School District 52 should have a two-week spring break is still on the table.
Out of 60 school districts in the province, only three have a one-week break — Prince Rupert is one of them.
Most of the students in the province get the second and third week off in March for spring break and its easier for these students and their parents to attend extracurricular events.
The trustees voted for the calendar option two, a two-week spring break from March 13-24, and ended up in a tie, defeating the motion. On March 30, they will address the other two options, either a one-week break from March 20 until the 24 or a two-week break from March 20-31.
When teachers voted in favour of a two-week spring break with their union this year the district asked parents for feedback.
“We’ve received more feedback than I’ve ever had in my time here. We had it out for a month and we got nearly one-hundred responses. We didn’t get that many for the budget by a long shot,” said the superintendent of School District 52, Sandra Jones.
Based on that information, trustees will make their decision by the end of the month. Meanwhile, there has been a storm of words on social media that claim the request for a two-week spring break was denied by the trustees because “Aboriginal students are vulnerable” and that “they have to have the school board take care of us for that extra week, and not leave us in a vulnerable state”, read Miranda-Avegail Baker’s Facebook post.
First Nations parents are troubled by the comments. Yvonne Campbell has three children in the school system and she supports a two-week spring vacation.
“The kids need a break, and as an Aboriginal our children go to the week-long Junior All Native Basketball Tournament to share culture and athleticism with other First Nations,” Campbell said, adding that one of her children was at the tournament in Williams Lake and had to miss a week of school to attend.
The post launched a series of comments that Jones said is a complete misinterpretation.
“Was it mentioned that we have a vulnerable population, yes. Was it mentioned that we have high Aboriginal population, yes. Were they put together, no,” she said.
Also, the decision to defeat the two-week holiday is still up in the air until the trustees make their final decision at the next board meeting. “Wait and let the process unfold,” Jones said.