The English Montreal School board has issued a notice to parents ahead of the global student demonstration to fight climate change: unauthorized absences will not be tolerated.

More than 530 demonstrations are planned in 59 countries on Friday, March 15, led by students around the world -- including here in Montreal.

Thousands of high school, CEGEP and university students are expected to gather a George-Etienne Cartier monument on Mount Royal facing Park Ave. for the rally, beginning at 1 p.m.

Some CEGEPs and universities also have events planned outside their schools.

The EMSB made it clear in a letter addressed to parents Wednesday evening that the school board “encourage(s) all of our students to attend school and not attend these demonstrations.”

EMSB Director General Ann Marie Matheson wrote that “the school administration cannot be held responsible for the absenteeism of any student that wishes to attend the activities related to this strike.”

Without the express consent of parents who authorize their child to take part and notify the school of said plan, the absence will be “considered unauthorized and handled as per the school's code of conduct,” Matheson wrote, adding that "we encourage activities within our schools that aim at raising awareness in lieu of public demonstrations."