DELTA (NEWS 1130) – Delta school officials and police are asking teens to skip Hell Night, an annual alcohol-fuelled, back-to-school tradition, out of respect for the rest of us.
Hell Night is an annual act of rebellion that typically happens the night before or after classes begin. Each year, Grade 12 students get together to party and vandalize schools, homes, parks and public spaces.
With so many in the community already on edge because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Delta’s Seaquam Secondary School is pleading with everyone to let this year pass without a Hell Night, saying it’s a tradition no one needs.
“In a ‘normal’ year, we already have serious concerns about this negative tradition in our community as alcohol, drugs and vandalism are invariably associated with this student-initiated event,” the letter from Principal Rick Mesich reads.
“This year, with the global pandemic we are very concerned that this unsanctioned activity will heighten the feelings of fear, uncertainty and risk that many in our community are already struggling with right now.”
This letter to parents in Delta pleading with them to help put the breaks on "Hell Night" really drives home how the tradition leaves a nasty hangover for the entire community: More on @NEWS1130 this morning https://t.co/PHAbSANpEG pic.twitter.com/O2VqJyUB4J
— Ash 'I work from home now' Kelly (@AshDKelly) September 10, 2020
Nancy Gordon, the assistant superintendent of the Delta School District, says only the kids know which night the marauding is planned for, but the pandemic has staggered back-to-school dates making it impossible to predict.
“So we really want our parents to be watching their kids and making sure that they’re making some simple choices and ones that are going to leave a good mark,” she tells NEWS 1130.
“Last year was a particularly bad year, lots of poor choices.”
The letter sent to families by Seaquam Secondary School says the event causes mistrust and anger between students, teachers, residents and police each year.
“Please remind your child that actions have consequences, even as a bystander: vandalizing property, setting fires, fighting, underage drinking, and more, can have serious and potentially lifelong consequences. These consequences could include criminal charges, a criminal record, and injury, not to mention the financial cost for those who are forced to clean up,” warns the letter.
Principal Mesich says with COVID-19 numbers on the rise across the Lower Mainland, particularly among younger people, “Clearly this is not the time for large groups of young people to be gathering in their local communities for such an unwelcome and unhealthy tradition.”
In addition to creating tension within the community, Mesich says Hell Nights can also “divide grad classes.”
“Hell Night also damages the relationships between students and teachers and school administration. The ramifications of Hell Night create an ill-timed and unnecessary conflict at the beginning of the school year that impacts relationships, feelings of trust and future good will,” Mesich’s letter adds.
He says this year should mark the end of the road for a tradition that is no longer needed.
Read the full letter from Seaquam Secondary:Hell-Night-Letter Seaquam Secondary
-With files from Mike Hall