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White Ribbon assembly aims to inspire positive change

St. Andrew's held its annual White Ribbon Service to commemorate the anniversary of the Montreal Massacre on Dec. 6, 1989. 

The White Ribbon Campaign was formed in 1991 in response to the shooting at École Polytechnique in Montreal as a way to raise awareness of the prevalence of male violence against women. For 19 years, SAC has been participating in the campaign, a worldwide movement that aims to help end gender-based violence. Its mandate encourages men and boys to lead by example, challenging racism, homophobia, transphobia, and sexism.  

At an Upper School assembly on Dec. 2, members of the Andrean community read pledges to help end gender-based violence and be an ally to those in need. Members of the Social Justice Committee offered individualized vows to address violence against women. Faculty, staff, and students then made personal pledges before lighting 14 candles in memory of each woman who lost her life in the 1989 mass shooting. 

Sabrina D'Angelo, Head of St. Anne's School, spoke about the importance of the ceremony and the impact it will have on the girls of SAS. A group of Grade 9 girls, called the First Cygnets, will start their year ahead of the SAS opening in September 2022, and Mrs. D'Angelo says she is looking forward to their participation in next year's service.

In years past, prefects from St. Mildred's-Lightbourn School have joined in the service. This year, students from the all-girls school in Oakville, Ont., joined us virtually.

On Monday, Dec. 13, Middle School Council and student representatives from Grades 5-8 will hold a special remembrance service for victims of the Montreal Massacre. In reading each victim's name, the boys will reflect on special women in their lives and embrace their potential to become part of positive change in society.

A pledge book and basket of white ribbons were available in Staunton Gallery all week to allow students, faculty, and staff members to sign their names and commit to a simple pledge: I pledge never to commit, condone, or remain silent about violence against women. 
St. Andrew's College
15800 Yonge Street, Aurora, ON L4G 3H7 Canada
Tel: 905-727-3178