Bumper stickers with a message against racism are starting to pop up around Hope, and at a Fraser Cascade Board of Education meeting Dec. 14, trustees approved a motion to put the stickers on school district vehicles.
The stickers are an initiative by Hope Inclusion Project and say “Let’s end racism and hate. Our right and our responsibility.”
It’s a message that Linda Kerr and the SD78 board wanted to amplify. Kerr chairs the board and has also been part of the Hope Inclusion Project committee for six years.
“We work on opening doors for people who are excluded for reasons other people may not even realize are there,” she said. “It’s something we’re all pushing for at SD78, at least I think we are because there was absolutely no dissension on the board as to whether we should put these stickers on our vehicles.”
Kerr said there are 35 licensed and plated vehicles including buses, equipment driven on roads, and other vehicles. She’s proud they’ll all have the stickers on them.
“It’s a public way to declare what we believe in,” she said. “Our slogan is ‘everyone pulling together,’ and you can’t do that if you exclude people from that equation.”
While SD78 approved the stickers, another group did not.
Hope Inclusion Project spokesperson Peter Bailey asked the District of Hope if they would consider displaying the stickers on their fleet and the idea was posed to council at a November meeting.
They voted against it, with Coun. Victor Smith saying it would “open up the door to too many things,” if they agreed to put the stickers on their vehicles.
Coun. Dustin Smith agreed, saying that if they put it on district property, they would be asked to support other things.
Scott Medlock spoke in favour of the stickers, saying while it’s not normal policy, he didn’t see it being harmful.
“It’s a minimal thing to do,” he said.
Instead of voting to put the stickers on, Victor Smith made a motion that they don’t advertise for anyone via bumper stickers on District of Hope equipment.
Smith, Smith and Coun. Craig Traun all voted in favour of that motion. With Coun. Bob Erickson absent, three votes is a majority and it passed.
The stickers are available for free at the Hope Standard during business hours, 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday through Thursday, and 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Fridays.