Discarded needle. (Stock photo)

School responds after needle and knife allegedly found during field trip

“The students were closely supervised and when sharp objects were found, the children did not pick them up”

Original: Saturday, June 8

Vernon parents are voicing their outrage after finding out their kids were allegedly instructed to clean up garbage near Kin Beach.

After finding out the details of a planned trip to the beach on June 6, a mother of an eight-year-old grade 3 student at Okanagan Landing Elementary School took to the Vernon Rant and Rave Facebook page Saturday to share her shock.

“BIG HUGE RANT!!” she wrote. “When your child’s elementary school takes a field trip to pick up garbage at the wetlands beside Kin Beach. Now I’m all for having clean parks! Yet when my daughter tells me of a knife that was found along with her finding a needle, that’s where my rant comes in.”

Discussions around the situation ensued and about five hours after the rant was published, the post garnered over 120 reactions and 172 comments. Many agreed with the mother’s sentiments and expressed their concern.

“My daughter was on the same field trip. There was no form to sign asking if it was okay. I found out through my daughter after the fact,” wrote one commenter.

“I’m all for picking up trash, that’s okay, but seriously even adults need to be extremely careful when there [are] needles or knives, never mind children. Unacceptable,” wrote another.

She explained in the comments that while a permission slip was signed for a “day at the beach,” she had not been made aware of the garbage clean up.

“Just latex gloves were given and no permission slip was even handed out,” she told The Morning Star. “The only permission slip I got was a fun day for the kids who attended and participated in the cross-country run this year [on Monday].”

She noted that the field trip in question took place Thursday, but she was not made aware of the incident until Saturday.

“The school better be so thankful my daughter wasn’t pricked by this needle or you would have one large lawsuit on your hands!!” the concerned mother wrote in her original post. “I will be contacting the school and the district on Monday and I expect an explanation!!”

UPDATE: Tuesday, June 11

The Morning Star reached out to Okanagan Landing Elementary for comment and clarification.

“We have looked further into this situation and can confirm walking field trip permission slips were sent home to parents at the beginning of the year. Three separate notices were also included in the students’ planners with information to parents regarding this particular trip. The planners are to be signed by parents daily,” said Maritza Reilly, communications coordinator for School District 22.

She said that prior to the trip, members of the North Okanagan Wetlands Stewardship Society came into the class to present and talk about safe cleanup for our wetlands.

“Their entire presentation was on safety – not to touch anything sharp and the members had sharp object safe containers, which they showed the students. The class then walked down to the wetlands and after another reminder about what to pick up and what to ask an adult to pick up, the classes performed their wetland clean up.”

She said that the children were all provided with special gloves from the Stewardship Society.

“No child was allowed to pick up garbage if they weren’t wearing gloves and picking up garbage was strictly voluntary. The field trip was related to topics of study in the class with the main point being to raise awareness about the hazards of foreign objects to the welfare of water fowl and indigenous species,” Reilly said.

“The students were closely supervised and when sharp objects were found, the children did not pick them up; they spoke to an adult who safely disposed of the object.”

Related: Woman steps on used needle at Kin Beach

Related: Vernon hot spots cleaned of needles and garbage

To report a typo, email:
newstips@vernonmorningstar.com
.



Follow me on Twitter @BrieChar
Email me brieanna.charlebois@vernonmorningstar.com
Like us on Facebook.

Just Posted

Stoked on Science: Why didn’t the mountain ash bloom?

Question: I’m sure I’m not the only person in Revelstoke who has… Continue reading

Revelstoke cadets host 67th annual Ceremonial Review

Revelstoke’s 2458 Rocky Mountain Ranger Army Cadets hosted their 67th annual Ceremonial… Continue reading

Construction and wildfires in the area

Forecast from Environment Canada: Today: A few showers ending this morning then… Continue reading

Revelstoke artist receives second place in Kelowna juried art show

Danielle Hebert Special to the Review Revelstoke artist Peter Blackmore has been… Continue reading

Revelstoke city staff hope to create neighbourhood plan for Johnson Heights

There have been several development applications for the area

Raptors announcer credited with calming massive crowd after shooting

Matt Devlin, the Raptors’ play-by-play announcer since 2008, was praised for preventing panic from spreading

Sexting teens at risk of harms including depression, substance use: study

Use of alcohol, cigarettes and marijuana were also found to be associated with sexting

Deadline for cabinet to decide future of Trans Mountain expansion is today

International Trade Minister Jim Carr described the decision as ‘very significant’

Rascal Flatts extend summer tour to the South Okanagan

Rascal Flatts create a Forever Summer Playlist tour extending it into the fall

RCMP spike belts help nab alleged Okanagan car thieves

RCMP arrested two Kelowna men who attempted to evade two spike belts

Man arrested during Kelowna police stand off

Water is flooding Highway 33 in Kelowna Monday afternoon

Judas Priest rocks the Okanagan

Judas Priest is on a 32 date tour of North America

Victoria mom describes finding son ‘gone’ on first day of coroners inquest into overdose death

Resulting recommendations could change handling of youth records amidst the overdose crisis

Dash-cam video in trial of accused cop killer shows man with a gun

Footage is shown at trial of Oscar Arfmann, charged with killing Const. John Davidson of Abbotsford

Most Read