Two Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School students, who stood up to anti-immigration protesters at their school, were honoured by the Alberta government for their bravery.
Ursella Khan and Thomas Gower, both Grade 11 students, received a standing ovation from both sides of the aisle in the Legislature on Monday.
Education Minister David Eggen introduced them to the legislature along with Red Deer Public School District board chair Bev Manning, district superintendent Stu Henry and Lindsay Thurber Comprehensive High School principal Dan Lower before question period.
“These two students stood up to racism last week when a group of people gathered outside of Lindsay Thurber High School in Red Deer to hold an anti-immigration protest,” Eggen told the house. “Ursella and Thomas spoke to the protesters about the importance of making everyone in Alberta feel welcome and safe and to treat everyone with respect.
“I want to thank all of you for the role you played in standing up against hatred.”
They met with Eggen earlier in the day and received plaques thanking from for standing up to racism outside of their school last week.
During the anti-immigration protest at their school on May 23, Khan spoke with reporters surrounded by protesters. A Muslim, she talked about the need to work better to help refugees integrate and adapt to their new homes.
Gower brought his own sign and stood across from protesters. His sign read: “no more hate, no more fear, refugees are welcome here.”
The protest was sparked after a misinterpretation on social media from a short clip of a fight between Syrian and Canadian students. Protesters claimed Syrian students had received lesser punishments. School officials said everyone involved received the same punishment of an out of school suspension of five days.