Students from Claremont Secondary involved in the use of a hate symbol at a grad party are working to make amends. This photo has been manipulated to blur the offensive symbol written on the back of a student. (Photo submitted)

Students from Claremont Secondary involved in the use of a hate symbol at a grad party are working to make amends. This photo has been manipulated to blur the offensive symbol written on the back of a student. (Photo submitted)

Claremont Secondary students make amends after hate symbol used at grad party

Families working with school administration, local rabbi, superintendent says

Parents and school administration took swift action after a student from Claremont Secondary was spotted wearing a hate symbol at a graduation party on June 20.

Dave Eberwein, superintendent of School District 63, explained that during the Saturday evening gathering in Saanich, students were taking part in a party game called “little white lies” where untrue statements are written on the back of each person’s shirt. During the game, one student drew a swastika symbol on the back of another student’s T-shirt.

READ ALSO: School teacher tests positive for COVID-19 as B.C. sees two new deaths, 20 cases

The symbol was worn for a short period of time before adults at the party noticed and asked the student to remove it, Eberwein said.

He emphasized that it was “a moment of careless indiscretion” but pointed out that “one never likes to see that symbol used in a careless manner.”

While the symbol wasn’t used to support the negative connotations associated with it, the intent “doesn’t excuse the behaviour,” Eberwein said.

It was “not very thoughtful … especially during these times,” he added, referencing protests taking place around the world against systemic racism.

Eberwein said the students involved felt terrible and wanted to make amends. The parents of both the student who wrote the symbol and the student who wore it have also been “involved in trying to right the ship.”

READ ALSO: Police seek suspect in downtown Victoria hate crime, victim struck with bottle

The incident was “taken very seriously by the school” as it “never should have happened,” he said.

The students and parents are working with school administration and will be taking part in “lots of deep learning” about the symbol and its history with a local rabbi. Eberwein is hopeful the incident can be an opportunity to educate and make amends.

Claremont principal Peter Westhaver declined to comment when Black Press Media reached out on June 26.


@devonscarlett
Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

devon.bidal@saanichnews.com

District of Saanich

Just Posted

Police have identified the vehicle involved in the Feb. 14 hit-and-run in Chemainus and are continuing to investigate. (Black Press Media files)
Police seize and identify suspect vehicle in fatal Chemainus hit-and-run

Investigation expected to be lengthy and involved

Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hills using a homemade trip camera. Vancouver Island is home to approximately 800 cougars, which makes up about a quarter of the total population in B.C. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Wildlife advocate Gary Schroyen captured this picture of a one-year-old cougar in the Sooke Hill using a homemade trip camera. Schroyen presents Animal Signs: The Essence of Animal Communication on Nov. 30. (Gary Schroyen photo)
Declining Vancouver Island cougar populations linked to wolves

Large carnivore specialist says human development still plays biggest role on cougar numbers

Raw logs are loaded onto a logging ship from a log sort down the Alberni Inlet in March 2019. SUSAN QUINN/ Alberni Valley News
Port Alberni surprisingly light on industrial land

Report finds few suitable locations for new industry in the city and surrounding area

Vandals damaged a picnic table at Spectacle Lake Park with a chainsaw earlier this month. (Linda Mills photo)
Editorial: Vandals make victims of us all

People targeting public property for vandalism never fails to infuriate

Island Health chief medical officer Dr. Richard Stanwick receives a first dose of Pfizer vaccine, Dec. 22, 2020. (B.C. government)
COVID-19 vaccination set to start for B.C. seniors aged 80-plus

Long-term care residents protected by shots already given

The Port Alberni Train Station is located outside the entrance to Harbour Quay, on Harbour Road in Port Alberni. (AV NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Port Alberni gets funding to restore heritage train station

Historic train station needs seismic upgrades

A cat died in this house fire in Sidney afternoon. The fire started on the house’s deck and spread from that point. Sidney Volunteer Fire Department Chief Brett Mikkelsen said the permanent presence of crews at the Community Safety Building prevented worse damage. (Photo courtesy of Clayton Firth)
UPDATED: Investigation underway into Sidney house fire that killed cat

Official says fire started on deck and damage to the house could have been worse

The site of Sunfest, Laketown Ranch, will be open for camping this summer. (Citizen file)
Laketown Ranch to welcome campers this summer

Sunfest site will provide camping amenities between May and September

A COVID-19 outbreak has been declared over at Eden Gardens. (News Bulletin file photo)
COVID-19 outbreak declared over at Nanaimo’s Eden Gardens

One staff member and one resident tested positive for the virus over past two weeks

(NEWS FILE PHOTO)
Fix coming after Alberni residents accidently double-taxed for library last year

About $800,000 coming off this year’s tax take in order to compensate

This poster, spreading misinformation regarding COVID-19 restrictions, has been popping up in communities across Vancouver Island.
UPDATED: Poster popping up in Island communities falsely claiming COVID restrictions are over

Unattributed poster claims COVID restrictions ended March 1; Island Health responds

Tofino Resort and Marina has temporarily shut down after several staff members tested positive for COVID-19. (Nora O’Malley photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at Tofino Resort and Marina

Resort apologizes to Hesquiaht First Nation for Valentine’s Day boating incident.

Victoria police are looking for 45-year-old Charlene Woods. (Courtesy of VicPD)
Missing woman last seen in Victoria on New Year’s Day

Police working to locate Charlene Woods, 45

Most Read