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April Fool’s detention email from B.C. principal falls flat with parents

Parents go to social media over email informing them their children were assigned weekend detention
Irene Kelleher Totí:ltawtxw Elementary School on Eagle Mountain in Abbotsford. (Jessica Peters/Abbotsford News file)

April Fool’s fun went a bit too far for some parents at an elementary school in Abbotsford over the weekend.

The principal of Irene Kelleher Totí:ltawtxw sent an email to all of the school’s parents, informing them that their child had been assigned to detention.

“It was brought to my attention that your child was involved in an incident today at lunch,” the email stated. “It was not pretty. People cried and no one was laughing. Luckily there were no serious injuries to others.”

Several parents at the school posted screenshots of the email to social media channels, and contacted The News anonymously. They were upset that the principal would send out such an email without it being immediately obvious it was a prank.

She then told all the parents to send their children to the school “tomorrow,” which was Sunday, April 2.

“Do not pack any snacks but please send with a water bottle and a thick book. Staff are required to be there too, but I don’t anticipate they will be super happy.”

Parents were instructed that the detention assignment would end at noon and they could “collect” their children then.

The email is signed Mrs. (Shelley) Portas and includes a post script that clarifies the email was in jest.

“If you get there early and no one is there yet, please feel free to collect litter from around the property. Just be sure to leave at noon … when April fools day jokes are over! Have an amazing weekend everyone!!”

The school district was quick to respond to a clarification request from The News regarding this type of email communication. The district’s manager of communications, Kayla Stuckart, said they are aware of the email and it was followed up later on April 1.

“We are … have reminded the principal about appropriate conduct for parent and family communication,” Stuckart said.

“A follow-up email was sent to the school community on April 1st to clarify the intention of the April Fool’s joke and apologize for any stress that may have been caused by the original message.”

READ MORE: Abbotsford school trustees defend 24% pay increase by previous board


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Jessica Peters

About the Author: Jessica Peters

I began my career in 1999, covering communities across the Fraser Valley ever since.
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