British Columbia

Anonymous pro-China letter and a fight at Richmond high school prompt district-wide meetings

Senior staff spoke to principals at all 10 high schools after two incidents erupted at Richmond Secondary School.

Tension over protests in Hong Kong spill over into Metro Vancouver

District staff met with school principals after confrontations at Richmond Secondary School erupted over China-Hong Kong relations. (Richmond Secondary School)

Senior staff at the Richmond School District met with principals after tensions over China-Hong Kong relations led to two separate confrontations among students at one school on the same day.

On Nov. 25, a fight broke out between a group of students and an open letter was posted on another student's locker in support of China at Richmond Secondary School.

In a statement, district spokesperson David Sadler says administrators attended to the matter and met with students and families involved.

Staff also met with principals at all 10 high schools on the issue to assess the magnitude of concerns. However, he says no other schools conveyed concerns.

One of the students involved in the fight shared his frustrations following the incident on a pro-Hong Kong Facebook page for Canadians, but the post has since been deleted. At the time, he said he and opposing students were suspended for three days.

In the second incident, a Grade 8 student who displayed pro-Hong Kong paraphernalia on his locker found a pro-China letter taped to his locker.

The letter was sent to CBC News by a friend of the intended student.

This letter in support of China which called a student "educated, but uncivilized," was taped to the locker of a pro-Hong Kong eighth-grader at Richmond Secondary School. (Submitted by student's friend)

It was signed only from, "a Chinese person." It says they are not looking to threaten the student, only to educate him but tells the student to "mind his own business" and calls him "uncivilized."

It ends by saying the movement in Hong Kong is "unjust" and "evil."

Sadler says all members of the Richmond school community are expected to behave according to the district's code of conduct and show, "respect for self, others, property and the environment." 

Tensions spilling over

The heated geopolitical situation in Hong Kong has spilled over in Metro Vancouver.

In September, students at Burnaby North Secondary School were seen on camera pushing and shoving over a difference of opinion in their support for the territory and China.

Richmond high school students organized a Lennon Wall demonstration in solidarity with Hong Kong in October, but allege the display was later torn down by pro-China supporters.

Competing rallies have been held at other Skytrain stations and on university campuses.

About the Author

Lien Yeung

@LienYeung

Lien Yeung is a host and reporter with CBC Vancouver News. She has covered stories locally and nationally from Halifax to Victoria on television, radio and online. Find her on Instagram or Twitter @LienYeung or via email at lien.yeung@cbc.ca.

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