Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Island Mom Accuses School District of Violating Religious Rights

Newspaper article The Canadian Press

Vancouver Island Mom Accuses School District of Violating Religious Rights

Article excerpt

B.C. mom fights First Nation ceremony in school

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NANAIMO, B.C. - A mother in Port Alberni, B.C., wants the courts to stop her local school district from allowing religious exercises in public schools.

Candice Servatius has filed a petition in B.C. Supreme Court after her children were required to take part in what she alleges were religious practices at John Howitt Elementary School in Port Alberni.

Servatius says in the petition that an event the school described as a traditional First Nation Nuu-chah-nulth "classroom and student cleansing" occurred in her children's classrooms in September 2015, and her unwilling daughter was informed it would be rude to refuse to participate.

After she complained, the petition says School District 70 agreed to stop all further spiritual exercises, but then allowed what she alleges was a prayer based on aboriginal spirituality at a student assembly in January, 2016. …

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