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School board approves changes to opening exercises

Will include land acknowledgement
School classroom/Shutterstock

Algoma District School Board (ADSB) trustees approved, at their monthly meeting held virtually Tuesday, a change to opening exercises held in the board’s schools. 

Originally, board policy stated “all elementary and secondary schools in the Algoma District School Board shall include, as part of their opening exercises, O Canada and a moment of silent reflection.”

Now, policy states “all Algoma District School Board elementary and secondary schools must be opened or closed each day with the national anthem, a period of silence and an acknowledgement of traditional Indigenous territory.”

‘God Save the Queen’ - Canada’s royal anthem - may be included at the discretion of a school’s principal.

The changes were discussed at the board’s Committee of the Whole meeting held Nov. 9 before Tuesday evening’s formal approval.

Parents or guardians, as well as students 18 or over, who object to any part or all of the exercises, may apply to the school principal, in writing, for an exemption. 

Exempted students may stay quietly seated in the classroom during opening exercises or remain in the hallway, visible by the teacher for supervision purposes.