Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the South Okanagan.

Auntie Says: The #metoo movement is now #hetoo. Take a stand

This last week has seen a veil lifted from the culture of silence surrounding males who are the victims of bullying, violent mob attacks and sexual assault.

The recent reports on the illicit student activities at St. Michael’s boys school in Toronto reminds us all to talk to our kids about being open and honest as to what’s going on in their lives, and keep the conversations going.

Related: Auntie Says – There is so many things to talk about

It’s been reported that charges of assault, gang sexual assault, and assault with a weapon have been laid against six students, aged 14-15 years old. These alleged assaults against fellow classmates came to light as video was uploaded to social media.Theres absolutely no spin you can put on this story to make it OK. It’s not about boys being boys, it’s not about tradition, and/or hazing. It’s brutal back-room savagery perpetrated in secret against the defenseless and fraught with threat and fear.

It breaks my heart for those vulnerable young men who just wanted to be accepted, but ended up hurt and broken. There’s also a lot we can learn from the current happenings and it’s important to share them with the younger people in your life.

Related: Auntie Says – A little respect please

First and foremost, you have a voice. Never be silent. This is so important. If you witness something, tell someone. A parent, a teacher, Auntie — someone. They’ll assist and help make decisions. A burden is much lighter when shared.

How sad is it that in the St. Michael incident, there were onlookers when someone was being assaulted. It wasn’t an isolated incident as there are several videos surfacing. I wonder about the young person who took the video. Did he take it as a way of telling the truth or was the thing just a spectacle or joke to share. Perhaps he was so thankful it wasn’t him being victimized that he’d forgotten the seriousness of what had just occurred. Either way, if you standby and do nothing, you’re complicit in the illegal behaviour and will be part of the criminal investigation, including having to testify as a witness. ‘

Related: Auntie Says – When, and when not, to air dirty laundry

The incident above was discovered by the school administration because someone uploaded the video to social media. I spoke with RCMP Const. Dan Moskaluk about the sharing of explicit pictures or video and he states “not distributing the material is the first action of being against it.”

In regards to sharing, he further states, “if you receive any such material, you should consider reporting it to authorities, or a trusted adult and delete it. Do not, I repeat, do not share it. This could result in charges of distribution of child pornography which is a Criminal Code offense. You don’t want to go there. Put yourself in their shoes,” he further states. “Imagine if someone were sending pictures of you all over social media. Stop and think. Do the best to affect a positive change and, in this case, that is to never — repeat — never share any digital images like that.”

These lessons need to be discussed over and over again.

“When kids are in the car, they’re a captive audience,” says Moskaluk.“It’s a great time to reinforce things like don’t ever send sexual digital images, or it’s not OK to watch people get hurt and not act. Even when teens get their learners license, they need a parent in the car, so just keep talking. Keep repeating. It will get through to them.”

Action brings change and I would hope someday that the type of behaviour discussed today will be a thing of the past. Former students at St. Michael’s, now adult men, have come forward to say that the same thing happened to them many years ago. Bravo to those men who’ve stepped forward. When the culture of silence is uncovered, the power shifts. It’s time.

Unfortunately the lessons in life came too late for some of the current students of St. Michael’s but I hope the move is now toward honesty, safety and an open forum of reporting and discussing. Having young people in jail doesn’t solve the issue of the narsassistic behaviour that’s learned and maintained through a foundation of power built on secrecy and the fear of others. As Moskaluk says, “Change happens when people themselves affect the change by taking a stand.”

Please share this with young people. Make them aware. Remind them that sharing any type of sexual digital image that they receive could have them charged with distribution of child pornography. Repeat.

Faye Arcand is a freelance writer living in the south Okanagan. She can be reached at faye.arcand@icloud.com or www.fayeearcand.com.

Just Posted

Fruit farmers in the Okanagan and Creston valleys are in desperate need of cherry harvesters amid COVID-19 work shortages. (Photo: Unsplash/Abigail Miller)
‘Desperate’ need for workers at Okanagan cherry farms

Fruit farmers are worried they’ll have to abandon crops due to COVID-19 work shortages

A tent housing a mobile vaccination clinic. (Interior Health/Contributed)
Over 5K jabbed at Interior Health mobile COVID-19 vaccine clinics

The clinics have made stops in more than 40 communities since launching last week

Provincial Health Officer Dr. Bonnie Henry talks about B.C.’s plan to restart the province during a press conference at Legislature in Victoria, Tuesday, May 25, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Interior Health COVID-19 cases falling slower than the rest of B.C.

More than a third of provincial cases announced Thursday came from the Interior

The Greater Vernon Chamber of Commerce will host the Valley Wide Business Expo May 4 at Predator Ridge Resort. (photo submitted)
Golf raffle helps Okanagan families score homes

Habitat for Humanity Okanagan swinging into action this summer with a new raffle

The weekly COVID-19 map for June 6 to 12. (BC CDC)
South Okanagan sees only 5 new cases in last week

The Similkameen Valley went a second week without any new cases

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed Eli Beauregard facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

Starting in 2022, the Columbia Shuswap Regional District is extending dog control to the entire Electoral Area D. (Stock photo)
Dog control bylaw passes in Shuswap area despite ‘threatening’ emails

CSRD board extending full dog control in Electoral Area D starting next year

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Most Read