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Chinese students once boycotted school for an entire year in B.C.

They were protesting a racist policy
george-jay-school
George Jay School in 1912, a couple of years after its official opening. The school was named for the chairman of Victoria's school board, who was behind a policy to segregate Chinese-Canadian students from others in Victoria public schools

Did you know that 100 years ago Chinese students in BC boycotted school for an entire year?

It’s true.

It was in Victoria in 1922 when they began their boycott, due to a new policy that said Chinese students from grade 1 to 7 were to be segregated in a Chinese-only school. This wasn’t required of any other immigrant group.

On the first day of school, the principals marched the students in a sort of parade from the public schools they should have been attending to the Chinese-only school which was located on Kings Road.

At one point in the march, a senior student made a pre-arranged signal and all of the students quickly dispersed, leaving the principals to walk on their own.

The students stayed away from school until the next year when the policy was reversed.

The battle that Chinese-Canadians had to wage for equal rights didn’t start or end there, but it was one victory in it.

And now you know.

Read more on this in a piece written by Grace Wong Sneddon and learn more about our province by following our BC Is Awesome TikTok account

 

@bcisawesome Boycotting racism in 1922. #bchistorywithbobk #chinesecanadian ♬ original sound - BC Is Awesome

 

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