‘Arguing with children’: Convoy protesters target Okanagan high schools

Convoy protester who confronted students outside of South Okanagan Secondary will now be fined $2,300.


Editor’s note: While the language in these videos has been censored, some readers may find the content disturbing or upsetting.

Okanagan Mounties are calling a recent face-off between COVID-19 mandate protesters and high school students “disconcerting” and are investigating whether criminal charges are warranted after a woman was filmed shouting racist insults and slurs at students.

School board Chair Rob Zandee says Osoyoos Secondary School and South Okanagan Secondary School in Oliver were targeted by protesters opposing vaccine mandates and COVID-19 restrictions Friday as students were leaving for the weekend.

The video posted to social media shows some of what happened outside the Oliver school.

“I have a right to be in this country, do you?” a woman screams at a young woman of colour.

“Are you telling me to go back home?” the student replies. Later in the video, the woman screams a sexist slur at that same student.

“You’re literally arguing with children,” someone else can be heard yelling as the woman walks away.

In a statement to CityNews, Oliver RCMP said the incident likely happened after a Constable visited the school to ensure safety.

Sgt. Wrigglesworth says although police were aware of a walkout against COVID-19 mandates, RCMP did not receive any calls from the school administration, teachers, or students, and were not made aware of the incident in the video until the next day.

“It is disconcerting that these adults would somehow think that their actions and viewpoints should be pressed upon children, or even expressed at all,” Wrigglesworth said.

Mounties say they will continue to liaise with the school administration, Oliver’s Mayor and Council, and leaders of the Indo-Canadian and First Nations Community to ensure safety.

“The safety of children at school is very important and a place of learning appears to have been violated,” RCMP wrote in a statement.

“The Board of Education form SD 53 does not condone protests that target children and youth or disrupt school proceedings, including the safe dismissal of students,” Zandee wrote in a statement.

“Schools are inclusive spaces, and children should not be subjected to verbal abuse or altercations.”


“While everyone has the right to protest, interfering with students trying to leave for their weekend is unacceptable. We would appreciate any further protests avoid our schools.”

Zandee noted B.C. passed “Bubble zone” legislation last year, which established a 20-metre no-protest perimeter around schools, health-care facilities, and COVID-19 testing and vaccination sites. The legislation came after protests against COVID-19 restrictions targeted both hospitals and schools in several cities.

Related stories: 

‘Shameful’: Anti-vaccine protesters enter Salmon Arm schools, triggering ‘hold and secure’

‘Refrain from wearing scrubs’: Vancouver healthcare workers warned ahead of convoy protest

‘They should be ashamed of themselves’: Protesters target B.C. hospitals disrupting patients, staff

“Within an access zone, it will be an offence to impede access to the facility, disrupt services or act in a way that could reasonably be expected to cause service users or providers concern for their physical or mental safety,” the province said at the time.

“The act will give police the power to arrest or issue tickets to anyone impeding access to a facility, disrupting services, or intimidating or attempting to intimidate an individual within access zones. In addition, courts will be able to issue an injunction to prevent people from contravening the act.”

Friday’s altercation came just ahead of the third weekend of disruptive protests and border blockades in cities across Canada.

On Monday, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau invoked the country’s Emergencies Act in response.

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