BC teachers’ strike turns ugly

With the B.C. teachers’ strike dragging on and two weeks of the school year gone, not surprisingly according to experts, things are starting to get nasty.

A Maple Ridge restaurant owner, who catered an event attended by Premier Christy Clark yesterday, says he and his 12-year-old son were harassed by protesters. The protesters were on-site for the 140th anniversary of Maple Ridge, where Clark was holding a news conference.

Thursday morning, the owner of Big Feast Bistro in Maple Ridge posted his experience with protesters on their Facebook page saying:

“We had a tough delivery yesterday to a lunch where Christy Clark was speaking, but had no idea she was there until we delivered. There were no kind words for us, even with my 12-year-old son helping with the delivery, several harsh things were said to us. Sadly our window was kicked in tonight, and I hope the two incidents are not related.” 

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Behavioural specialists are not surprised tempers are flaring.

“The longer it goes on, the more people are losing, the more they feel helpless and I think that frustration leads to all sorts of different kinds of outbursts,” said Dr. Sandra Robinson UBC Professor, Organizational Behaviour.

Despite that there’s no evidence the harassment and vandalism are connected, hundreds of people took to the business’s Facebook page to angrily comment about the incident and teachers’ strike.

The page contained many reactive insults but anger experts remind people that it’s better to think before you act.

“If it’s just reactive and vitriolic and hostile, nobody’s going to listen to that,” said Alistair Moes from Moose Anger Management.

Behavioural specialists suggest the longer the strike goes on, the more likely these types of problems can become and are reminding people to keep their constructive points top of mind.

“To the extent where people are anonymous they’re much more likely to engage in behaviours that they wouldn’t normally do in person,” says Dr. Robinson.

~ with files from Leigh Kjekstad


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