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.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

Justin Kripps of Summerland and his team have competed in Olympic action and World Cup competitions in bobsleigh. (Jason Ransom-Canadian Olympic Comittee).
QUIZ: Are you ready for some winter sports?

It’s cold outside, but there are plenty of recreation opportunities in the winter months

A map released by the BCCDC on Jan. 15 shows the number of new COVID-19 cases reported for each local health area between Jan. 3 and 9. (BCCDC Image)
Salmon Arm and Vernon see increase in new COVID cases, curve flattening elsewhere

The rate of new cases is levelling off in Kelowna, Penticton and Revelstoke.

The Premier Hotel on Summerland’s Main Street and the taxi were owned by Bill and Lydia Johnston. Today, the building is Sass Fashions in Summerland. H.S. Kenyon, who moved the building to Summerland from Midway, continued with building construction. His family now operates Greyback Construction. (Photo courtesy of the Summerland Museum)
Two former Summerland hotel buildings have been moved over the years

Transport of buildings is part of community’s history

Interior Health update. File photo.
86 new COVID-19 cases, two more deaths in Interior Health

The new deaths are from Heritage Square, a long-term care facility in Vernon

Caroline McKay
COLUMN: Bring books out of hibernation for the new year

Plenty of lesser-known works from famous authors available from the library

Keith the curious kitten is seen on Nov. 4, 2020 at the Chilliwack SPCA. Friday, Jan. 22, 2021 is Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress file)
Unofficial holidays: Here’s what people are celebrating for the week of Jan. 17 to 23

Answer Your Cat’s Questions Day, Pie Day and International Sweatpants Day are all coming up this week

(Phil McLachlan - Capital News)
‘Targeted’ shooting in Coquitlam leaves woman in hospital

The woman suffered non-life threatening injuries in what police believe to be a targeted shooting Saturday morning

The organizer of a Kelowna protest against COVID-19 restrictions was fined by the RCMP for the third time Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19: Organizer of Kelowna anti-restriction protest ticketed for third time

The individual’s latest ticket for $2,300 was handed out by RCMP at an anti-lockdown rally Saturday

Mount Boucherie Secondary School is one of three Kelowna schools with confirmed cases of COVID-19, according to an update from the school district Saturday, Jan. 16, 2021. (File photo)
COVID-19 confirmed at 3 Kelowna schools

Interior Health has confirmed exposures at Mount Boucherie, Springvalley and South Rutland schools

Half of the most expensive homes are on 2080 Mackenzie Crt, which is across the street from Revelstoke Mountain Resort. (Liam Harrap/Revelstoke Review)
The 10 most valuable homes in Revelstoke for 2020

Combined, the properties are worth more than $35M

Lake Country native Evan-Riley Brown is in the cast for the new film Journey To Royal: A WW II Rescue Mission to be released on video on demand and streaming services on Feb. 2. (Contributed)
Okanagan actor lands role in WW II movie

Evan-Riley Brown, from Lake Country, cast in production labelled as hybrid of a feature film and documentary called Journey To Royal: a WW II Rescue Mission.

JaHyung Lee, “Canada’s oldest senior” at 110 years old, received his first dose of the COVID-19 vaccine on Thursday, Jan. 14, 2021. He lives at Amenida Seniors Community in Newton. (Submitted photo: Amenida Seniors Community)
More than 20 days have passed since the last case of COVID-19 was confirmed at Lakeside Manor. (File photo)
Salmon Arm retirement facility reopens social areas after COVID-19

More than 20 days have passed since last confirmed case at Lakeside Manor

A unique-looking deer has been visiting a Nanoose Bay property with its mother. (Frieda Van der Ree photo)
A deer with 3 ears? Unique animal routinely visits B.C. property

Experts say interesting look may be result of an injury rather than an odd birth defect

Most Read