Chilliwack school's alcohol prizes blasted by mom
School board says practice has been discontinued after complaint from Vanessa Skotnitsky
A Chilliwack, B.C., mother is angry that once again, alcohol was to be raffled at her daughters' school for a Christmas fundraiser.
Vanessa Skotnitsky says her daughters, aged three and nine, were sent home with letters asking for donations for a Christmas fundraiser featuring alcoholic gift baskets.
But Skotnitsky says she had already complained to Evans Elementary’s principal last year about the same practice.
“I immediately thought that it was inappropriate — sending kids to school with liquor store gift cards," said Skotnitsky.
Every effort is being made to ensure that our schools are alcohol and drug free.- Evelyn Novak, superintendent for District No.33 (Chilliwack)
The mother of three lost her own father to alcoholism last year, and says there's no reason for alcohol to be on school property.
Skotnitsky contacted the district superintendent but was told to take the issue up with the school's Parents Advisory Committee (PAC).
PAC president Jen McMullin says members were not aware of Skotnitsky's complaint last year because she had complained to someone who is no longer with the committee.
The PAC acted as soon as Skotnitsky brought the matter to their attention this year, McMullin said.
"The principal, the school and myself decided to rectify the situation immediately and removed the basket, changing the theme to a chocolate basket instead," McMullin said in a statement.
"The following morning, the principal and I sent out a letter to all preschool parents, apologizing and acknowledging our mistake and changing the basket to a chocolate basket."
McMullin said this is the only complaint they have ever received about their basket themes.
Evelyn Novak, superintendent of schools for District No.33 (Chilliwack), indicated in a written statement that the practice has been discontinued, saying, "Every effort is being made to ensure that our schools are alcohol and drug free.”
with files from Farrah Merali