Students from Norfolk County and beyond skipped classes last Friday to hit the beaches of Port Dover, Turkey Point and Long Point for the day.
While Friday was a PA day for public and Catholic elementary teachers and students, high school students were expected to be in class.
“Grand Erie District School Board does not endorse this day, as our focus is on student achievement,” said Denise Martins, a superintendent of education with the Grand Erie District School Board.
“It is a regularly scheduled school day, and Grand Erie students are expected to be in class. Students who are away must provide documentation to verify any absence.”
Stefanie Harrison and Hannah Melnychuk, Grade 12 students at St. John’s College in Brantford, were enjoying the beach in Port Dover.
“We just told our teachers it was senior skip day,” said Harrison. “We heard about it through a lot of our friends.”
“We got here around 11:30 (a.m.), we’ll probably be here for the rest of the day,” said Melnychuk.
Eric Davidson, a Grade 10 student at Waterford District High School, said he was at the beach because his friends asked him to go.
“I went swimming, watched a fight and jumped off the pier,” said Davidson.
Myla Selway, a Grade 8 student at Elgin Avenue Public School in Simcoe, was spending her day at the beach with a friend.
“We had nothing else to do,” Selway said.
OPP have had reports of assault, sexual assault, mischief, vandalism, underage consumption of alcohol, and impaired driving at previous Beach Day events.
“We want everyone to act in a safe and mature manner,” Norfolk OPP Const. Ed Sanchuk said prior to the event. “We’re asking parents to sit down and have an open and frank discussion with their kids about their safety being a priority.”
Lindsay Reid, a Grade 11 student at Waterford, was also in Port Dover with friends.
“I just wanted to spend time with some friends,” Reid said about why she was at the beach.