Schools preparing for Remembrance Day, but some students will opt out
While schools throughout Edmonton are preparing to recognize Remembrance Day, some students have the option of not participating.
Certain Edmonton Public schools give students the option of not attending Remembrance Day ceremonies, among other activities.
“It’s always an option for parents,” Jane Sterling with Edmonton Public Schools said. “Typically it’s a really rare request, but in certain situations there are parents that would prefer their children not to be part of the Remembrance Day ceremony.”
Sterling said students usually don’t take part in the ceremonies for religious reasons, and only applied in what she called ‘demographic areas’.
Many of the parents CTV News spoke to said they don’t think Remembrance Day ceremonies should not be optional.
Scott Olsen said he didn’t see Remembrance Day as a religious holiday.
“It has to do with veterans, and our military,” Olsen said. “There are people from every race and religion that are members of our military, and fight for our freedom.”
Another parent said it’s important for students to understand the sacrifice Canadian veterans made for their country.
“I want them to realize that somebody sacrificed their life for this country,” Ramandee Pvar said. “I support this and want my kids to understand this.”
However, some agreed with the option.
“I think it should be a choice with the parents, whether they should celebrate Remembrance Day or just do other activities,” Parent Pam Fillion said.
Former military member and a member of the board for the Beverly Cenotaph Remembrance Service Joe Luce said the option bothers him.
“It’s nowhere religious in my standpoint,” Luce said. “It’s people who stand for our rights and freedoms, this is the one day to thank them.”
With files from Dez Melenka