In the grade 5/6/7 classes at Qualicum Beach Elementary School, teachers like myself have been educating the students about the Syrians, the Karens and the history of Canadian immigration policies.
The students have realized that almost all of us have descended from people from other places; some of our students are even immigrants themselves.
Therefore, a letter to the editor (‘Wrong Refugees,’ The NEWS, May 5) made a huge impact on the students in my Leadership Elective. The following are their responses to the article.
• “We should be helping people like this, not turning them down or saying ‘no, we can’t help you’. It’s just not Syrians that need help on our planet.”
• “I don’t think it really matters where the refugees come from; all that matters is that they’re looking for shelter and if you think about it, is there really such a big difference?”
• “(The author of the piece) is being too general, judging them before we meet them. How do we know what they’re like? He wouldn’t be saying this if it was him.”
• “Any human being is just as equal as any famous person.”
• “You can’t put a family with no education in a big city (Ottawa); the family would need to start somewhere small (like Qualicum Beach) and adapt.”
• “How would you feel if you were being ‘discluded’ from here?”
• “What’s wrong with Thailand?”
• “I could not imagine someone so cruel as to not support a family of eight with nothing”
And, because we live in Canada and are allowed to voice all opinions:
• “Some people here are on the fence about them coming to Qualicum Beach because people here can’t get jobs, but these people (the refugees) get jobs.”
• “Why help others when there are so many people here who need our help, too? There needs to be a balance”
Thanks to the original letter writer for the opportunity to promote discussion.
Carrie FramptonQualicum Beach