Protests now banned around K-12 schools in B.C.

Protests now banned around K-12 schools in B.C.

Protests within 20 metres of K-12 schools are now banned in B.C., after the province says 20 schools had been targeted by “disruptive protesters” in the current school year.

The province passed the Safe Access to Schools Act on May 16 creating the no-protest zone around schools.

“Every kid and teacher in our province has the right to go to school without being disrupted by aggressive or hateful protests,” said Premier David Eby in a news release.

“Our government is taking action to protect kids and ensure schools remain safe spaces by establishing no-go zones for protestors. I want people who think it’s OK to intimidate or harass kids while they’re trying to learn or play at school to know that what you’re doing is now illegal.”

The 20-metre perimeter is in effect around schools on school days from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. and during extracurricular school activities at all K-12 and independent schools.

“Ensuring every child can access the education they need to succeed without fear or intimidation is our top priority,” said Rachna Singh, minister of education and child care. “A child’s learning environment should be a safe and inclusive one, and we’re doing what is needed to keep kids safe at school.”

Schools and districts will now be able to call police to have them intervene in protests within that area.

RELATED FROM 2021: Rob Shaw: B.C. introduces new ‘bubble zones’ to protect hospitals and schools from anti-vaccination protests

Laura BroughamLaura Brougham

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