Sports Hockey

SOCHI 2014

Should students pay to watch Team Canada game? 0

By Terry Davidson, Patrick Maloney, QMIAgency

Topics

TORONTO  - 

Did your kid’s school charge students to skip class and watch the biggest Canadian hockey game in years?

In an emerging trend across the province, schools have started charging students a “buy-in” fee — the money typically goes to charity — to attend fun events like school football games.

Kids who don’t — or can’t — pay stay in class and miss the opportunity.

One London, Ont. school, A.B. Lucas secondary, charged students $5 to leave class and watch Friday’s U.S.-Canada hockey semifinal in the school. The money is going to a charity called Relay For Life.

While he agrees that “buy-in” fee is the highest he’s seen, London school board trustee Don Macpherson said such events can raise plenty of money for good causes.

“There’s an opportunity to support greater community causes,” he said, noting kids who don’t pay don’t get in.

As for those who can’t pay? Macpherson says the schools owe it to their students to ensure “equity of access for the kids” who seek the help out.

GTA-area school boards said Friday that, as far as they knew, their respective schools weren’t engaging in the practice.

“To our knowledge, short of polling every school, we’re not aware of any of our schools doing that,” Toronto District School Board spokesman Ryan Bird said.

TDSB director of education Donna Quan said in an e-mail that while it is up to individual schools whether or not a donation is collected to watch the game, “we would expect that all students be afforded the ability to participate regardless of their ability to pay.”

A spokesman for the Peel District School Board said much the same, adding that PDSB officials would ensure that — in the name of equality — all students would be able to watch, regardless of whether or not they had money.

“We have lots of schools watching (the game), but they are watching in classrooms, in the gym,” PDSB’s Carla Pereira said. “Certainly, from the board’s perspective ... (the PDSB) would work with (the school) so that all students were allowed that opportunity.”

A spokesman said two Durham District School Board secondary schools were charging students to watch the game. The DDSB’s Andrea Pidwerbecki said both schools were asking for a charitable donation of $2, but that students who didn’t have the money were still allowed to participate.

Poll

Do you think students should pay to watch Team Canada games?

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