A group of about 30 protesters showed up at Oliver's Southern Okanagan Secondary School Friday afternoon and yelled at students about their masks, leading to a "very heated" confrontation.
Kai, a Grade 11 student at the school, says the group showed up to the school around 2:45 p.m. – about 30 minutes before the end of the school day. The group pulled into the area where school buses and parents would pick up students, honking their horns and blocking off the area.
“My friends and I were sitting in class and we could hear all the honking and stuff and we all looked out the window and … we looked outside and we were like ‘why are they here?’ At first it was just a couple, we didn’t think it would be a whole convoy,” Kai told Castanet.
“We thought it was just people picking up their kids who just happened to have Canada flags and then it ended up just being dozens of trucks just lined up across the street, blocking off the street, it was a lot of them.”
After school, as the students were leaving, Kai and a group of students went to see what they wanted. Kai said the protesters went to “huddle” in an area where people wait after school to be picked up by their parents.
“There were like 50 kids there after school. We were just like ‘what do you guys want?’ Because they were yelling at us to take off our masks, this lady spat at me, she spat at me and walked away," said Kai.
Kai says one of the protesters also called her a homophobic “F-slur.”
“At first we were just kind of standing there, and then when things started getting aggressive, we started yelling at them more, like ‘go away, what do you want, leave us alone,” said Kai.
A video captured by Kai's friend shows a blonde woman yelling at a Grade 12 student, Navrit, in an aggressive tone.
“She was arguing with [Navrit] about the protest. The way it escalated was that the lady in the video said something like ‘those truckers bring all your goods over, so you better care,'” said Kai.
Navrit responded to the woman in the video by saying, “You think I care?” and the woman responded with “Well you should care, I have a right to be in the country, do you?”
Navrit, a young Punjabi woman, questioned the woman’s comment, and asked “Are you telling me to go back to my country?”
The woman said “yes” and began yelling at Navrit for calling her “racist."
The two went back and forth yelling at each other, until the blonde woman called Navrit a "stupid c**t."
At one point, one of the students yells: "you're literally arguing with children."
Kai said there were no teachers or police in the area at the time. However, she said she left early while everyone was still arguing to catch her bus and she's unaware if teachers attended after.
The protesters were still blocking the buses and several students had to tell them to leave so the buses could leave safely.
“It was very hostile, everyone was heated,” said Kai.
The incident lasted for about 30 to 45 minutes. Kai said she heard a group of protesters also went to Osoyoos Secondary School for the same reason, but Castanet has not confirmed that.
She noted that her school, SOSS, is located near an elementary school and the younger children likely witnessed the altercation take place.
Kai said she believes the group of protesters came to the school to “indoctrinate” the children.
Castanet has reached out to RCMP for comment.
For the third Saturday in a row, a convoy of people are driving from across the Okanagan to Osoyoos, in support of the protest in Ottawa.