A group of protesters rallied in front of a school in South Okanagan on Friday afternoon, leading to a ‘very heated’ argument with students.
A video circulating online shows a protester yelling at students from Oliver’s Southern Okanagan Middle School (SOSS).
According to eyewitnesses, the protesters arrived at the school near the end of the day. As the students approached the group, protesters reportedly started shouting about masks, leading to a heated confrontation.
“It grew up really fast and escalated very quickly,” the 12th grader said in the video. Her name will not be released for privacy reasons. The video was recorded by a friend of a woman shouting at a 12th grade student.
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She said the woman threw racist comments at her and another Punjabi student.
The woman said, ‘I deserve to be in this country, don’t I?’ She also said, “go home” and “return to your country.”
“I just kept telling her I was born here,” the student said, adding that she couldn’t believe the woman’s shocking comment.
“When my parents moved here over 30 years ago, they wanted a better life and moved to a community where they felt safe and somewhere they felt they belonged. For this to happen to me, it breaks my heart,” she said.
In the video, the two curse at each other, until the woman uses another profanity to describe the student and then walks away.
The RCMP said that an officer attended SOSS on Friday but was unaware of the incident at the time.
“There are ‘liberals’ who are clearly supporting the students who are showing some support for the ‘liberals’. They were asked to stay off the school grounds and they did,” Sgt said. Don Wrigglesworth in a statement.
Wrigglesworth says the RCMP will look into the matter, now that they’ve been notified.
“The bottom line is that there are adults in our community who have selfish agendas of their own, and on the surface, that is very disturbing and seems to cross some boundaries,” said Wrigglesworth. said in a statement.
“If criminal charges are warranted then that path will be pursued. The safety of children at school is very important and a place of learning appears to have been compromised. “
SOSS Principal, Tracy Harrington, confirmed the school had also been notified of the incident.
“We are supporting the students (who are) upset about this event and have reached out to their parents. We will be discussing it with the students on Monday,” Harrington said in a statement.
Since the video was posted online, the 12th grader says she has received a lot of support.
“I got a lot of support from the community… my friends, my teachers, everyone told me this was not okay, and what she said was disgusting. They told me I belong here, I’m strong and I don’t have to worry about this woman,” the 12th grader said.
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https://globalnews.ca/news/8617167/racist-remarks-hurled-at-oliver-b-c-students-by-adult-protester-during-confrontation/ Racist remarks thrown at student Oliver, BC by adult protesters during confrontation