On Sept. 17, School District 83 announced hold and secure procedures had been put in place at Salmon Arm schools after some schools had been visited by protesters. (File photo)

On Sept. 17, School District 83 announced hold and secure procedures had been put in place at Salmon Arm schools after some schools had been visited by protesters. (File photo)

Editorial: Instead of justifying actions, Salmon Arm school protesters should consider an apology

Letter from protesters shows lack of empathy for concerns of educators

There’s a letter being shared on social media defending those who recently took their anti-vaccination protest to Salmon Arm schools.

The letter begins with the modern classic misdirect of blaming the media for distorting the “true” story which, as told by the school district, involved protesters “choosing to enter schools in and around Salmon Arm” on Sept. 17.

At one of the schools, according to school staff, about 12 people entered the building – none of whom had kids attending.

The letter suggests details were reported in the media that, at least in our case, were not (ie: that protesters were in physical contact with children). Of course, the letter also includes claims around COVID-19 vaccines while suggesting that amidst this “chaos, there is also opportunity – to become educated.”

What the letter does not include is any suggestion of empathy or concern among the protesters for how their actions may have been interpreted by school staff, students, parents/caregivers and much of the community.

The letter also offers no apology.

Much of the letter revolves around a particular interpretation of events, where protesters felt the need to inform school principals about their world view pertaining to pharmaceutical companies and government. In the process, principals were “served” specious notices of liability.

At one school, the letter reads, the principal “consented to engaging with us in the hallway.”

Parents/caregivers with kids at the one school where the dozen protesters entered the building received multiple letters from the school’s administration that day offering a different view of what happened there, how it was perceived and the effort that went into getting the protesters out of the building.

A teacher at the same school contacted the Observer after the incident. Still shaken, he stated he did not feel safe for his students or other students in the building, and that other staff members felt the same.

Instead of justifying their actions via social media, those involved in the protests should consider a public apology to local school administration, staff, students, parents and everyone else affected by their poor choice of action.

Read more: ‘Unacceptable’: Protesters enter Salmon Arm schools, forcing hold and secure procedures

Read more: Protesters at Salmon Arm schools prompt political, public condemnation


lachlan@saobserver.net
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