Last fall I had the privilege of meeting with Premier David Eby to address the alarming rise in disruptive protests targeting schools across our province.

Today, I’m thrilled to share that our advocacy efforts have paid off, with the introduction of legislation aimed at safeguarding our schools and protecting our students’ right to learn in a safe environment.

For far too long our schools have been subjected to disruptive protests, directly impacting our students’ well-being and educational experience. During our discussions with the premier we emphasized the importance of maintaining schools as places of safety and security, where students and staff can thrive without fear or intimidation. The introduction of access zones around schools marks a key step in preventing disruptive behavior and protecting the learning environment.

It deeply saddens me to hear accounts of protests targeting schools, including incidents of protesters approaching classroom windows. Every child deserves to feel safe and supported in their educational journey, regardless of the issue under protest. This legislation is a necessary measure to ensure schools are off-limits for all forms of intimidation and disruption.

Let me be clear: this legislation is not an attempt to stifle freedom of speech; rather, it is a means of reaffirming our commitment to providing students with environments conducive to learning, growth and safety. Freedom of expression should never come at the expense of our students’ education.

I couldn’t be prouder to see our efforts culminate in this milestone. Our students have the unequivocal right to learn and flourish in a safe, supportive environment and this legislation is a decisive move in that direction. I hope you can join us in celebrating this important step and to continue supporting our ongoing efforts to enact positive change. Together, let’s ensure every student feels valued, respected and empowered to reach for the stars.

Carolyn Broady
President, British Columbia School Trustees Association