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Richmond parents propose 'picket pass' for booze-free grad parties 0

By Michael Mui, 24 Hours Vancouver

Parents say dry-after-grad parties are so graduates don't drink during the celebrations.

Parents say dry-after-grad parties are so graduates don't drink during the celebrations.

Parents in Richmond are proposing a "picket pass" to allow graduating students through to dry-after-grad parties on school properties.

But Richmond Teachers' Association president Al Klassen said there could be issues with selectively letting people through.

"I didn't say no. We're still working on an answer for them - there's still time before the event happens," he said.

"Teachers are going to be very unhappy that people are actually crossing a duly constituted picket line that has certain obligations and functions. It tells a message to the public, employer - everyone - that there's a dispute in place."

Matthew McNair Secondary parent Ruth Balfour said parents have already take the union's answer as "no."

For her son's dry-after-grad party, parents have instead raised funds to rent a church for the night so no students will have to cross the lines.

She said some parents at other schools will simply walk past the lines.

Byron Stevens, another parent at McNair, said the events are important to encourage students to party safely without alcohol and drugs.

At least five high schools are scheduled to have their dry-grad parties next week, he said.

Richmond District Parents' Association vice-president Patrick Chun said safety is a priority but he would let parents at each school decide on what to do on a school-by-school basis.  

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