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Parents can’t replace teacher supervisors at school athletic events

Parents can supervise children, but cannot replace teachers during extracurricular activities, according to public school board policy.

As teachers in the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board continue to boycott extracurricular activities in response to Bill 115, some parents have volunteered to supervise their children at athletic events such as this week’s Hamilton Indoor Games.

But citing board policy, Krys Croxall, superintendent of student achievement said any student competing on a school team must have a teacher supervisor present, even in cases where a parent steps forward to volunteer his or her time.

“This does not preclude outside coaches (including parents) from working with our teams and extracurricular activities, but it means that a teacher must supervise,“ Croxall stated in an email. “Parents can support but cannot replace teachers for extracurricular activities.”

Registration numbers were down more than 40 per cent for this year’s Hamilton Indoor Games at Copps Coliseum, but organizers are moving forward with the 88th annual track meet.

“Without teacher supervision HWDSB faces a liability issue and therefore since Ancaster High does not have a teacher supervisor for students who wish to represent the school at this track meet, we cannot participate,” said Croxall.

“We agree that the situation is unfortunate for our students but at this time, our policy precludes any other response.  We sincerely hope that a resolution to this issue will be found in the coming weeks.”

With some exceptions, the Hamilton-Wentworth District School Board suspended all school athletics in early December when teachers withdrew from voluntary activities. The job action was taken in response to the provincial Liberal government’s Bill 115 which froze wages and imposed contracts on teachers who did not previously reach agreements with their respective school boards.

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