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Moment for the Queen not a day, say Coquitlam parents

A day of mourning and a moment of silence would be more 'impactful' for students, says the president of the District Parent Advisory Council, a Coquitlam area parent group.
Queen Elizabeth Times Colonist photo
B.C. Premier John Horgan has announced he'll be following the federal government's lead in declaring a national day of mourning Sept. 19 to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

Parents who don't get the day off to mourn the death of Queen Elizabeth will be scrambling for daycare on Monday, Sept. 19 for a B.C.-wide closure of kindergarten to Grade 12 schools.

School District 43 confirmed to parents that schools will be closed for the day, shortly after Premier John Horgan declared a national day of mourning Sept. 19 to mark the funeral of Queen Elizabeth II.

This will be third day of school closures in the month of September, and the second day off for students next week.

According to the SD43 school calendar, classes will be cancelled on Friday, Sept. 23 for a Pro-D Day; however, teachers will still be working by attending workshops.

Schools will also be closed on Friday, Sept. 30 for Truth and Reconciliation Day, a national day of recognition and healing for families affected by the residential school system.

Parents, meanwhile, have to find care for their children for three days within a two-week period, a potential challenge for many, according to the District Parent Advisory Council.

Rosey Manhas, president of DPAC 43 acknowledged in a statement the importance of honouring the queen's lengthy reign.

Still, she raised concerns about parents having a difficult time arranging care on such short notice.

"For families with young kids, this is another school closure to the additional other three days in September. This becomes extremely challenging to families who need to juggle their full-time jobs and finding childcare for that extra day," Manhas stated.

"Not all business will be giving their employees paid leave to mourn," Manhas noted.

Instead, students could have attended classes and stood for a moment of silence, Manhas suggested.

"A day of mourning with a moment of silence at schools would have been more impactful and meaningful for teaching our children how to pay respect to her Majesty’s reign,” Manhas said.

She acknowledged that it's important to recognize the passing of Queen Elizabeth II, Canada's long-time head of state, calling the Sept. 19 federal holiday for government workers, including post-secondary institutions and most Crown corporations, an "important historical reminder of the monarch's duties in our legislation."

“On behalf of DPAC 43, our deepest condolences for the passing of her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II."