Students pose during a February 2016 Pink Shirt Day event at Semiahmoo Secondary. (File photo)

Students pose during a February 2016 Pink Shirt Day event at Semiahmoo Secondary. (File photo)

Surrey youth say discrimination, racism on rise: survey

2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey results released

A survey that aims to provide essential information about health trends in youth highlights a rise in racism and discrimination concerns amongst B.C.’s Grade 7-12 students, including those in Surrey and Delta.

According to the survey, conducted by the McCreary Centre Society, the percentage of youth who had experienced discrimination due to their race, ethnicity, or skin colour increased to 18 per cent from 14 per cent in 2013, and local youth were more likely than youth across B.C. to experience racism (18 per cent versus 14 per cent).

READ MORE: Free ‘Fighting Against Racism’ forum in Surrey this weekend

“While Fraser South was not unique in seeing an increase in youth reporting experiencing racism it is obviously worrying, as was the finding that local students feel less safe at school, in their community and on transit than in previous years,” McCreary Centre Society executive director Annie Smith said in a news release sharing findings of the 2018 BC Adolescent Health Survey.

“This may well be having a knock-on effect on mental health as we also saw a decrease in youth reporting they experienced positive mental health and more than 1 in 6 having seriously considered suicide in the past year. But we do also see local youth are really resilient with most of them satisfied with their quality of life, hopeful for their future, and making plans to graduate and go on to post-secondary.”

The survey was conducted in 58 of BC’s 60 school districts, and was the sixth time that students have been asked to participate since 1992. It was last carried out in 2013. Langley School District did not participate in the latest round, the release notes.

Participation in the latest survey was the highest since it began, the release notes, adding that the results are considered representative of over 95 per cent of mainstream school students in Grades 7–12 in the province.

In addition to health trends, the survey aims to provide information about “risk and protective factors that can influence young people’s healthy transitions to adulthood.”

The 2018 iteration included 140 questions asking youth about their perceptions of their current physical and mental health, their engagement in health promoting and health risk behaviours, and about factors that can contribute to a healthy transition to adulthood.

Here are some of the findings:

• the percentage of students who never ate breakfast on school days increased to 18 per cent from 12 per cent in 2013, while the number of those who purged (vomited on purpose after eating) in the past year increased to 10 per cent for males (from four per cent) and to 14 per cent for females (from eight per cent);

• the percentage of students who rated their overall health as good or excellent decreased (to 82 per cent, from 87 per cent in 2013 );

• 16 per cent of local youth had seriously considered suicide in the past year (up from 11 per cent in 2013). The local increase was seen in both males and females, however, the percentage of females who had attempted suicide decreased, to six per cent (from eight per cent in 2013);

• local students were more likely than those across B.C. to miss out on needed mental-health services because they had no transportation (14 per cent versus 10 per cent provincially);

• compared to youth across B.C., local youth were less likely to have ever used tobacco (13 per cent vs. 18 per cent), alcohol (35 per cent vs. 44 per cent) or marijuana (20 per cent vs. 25 per cent), and to have vaped in the past month (24 per cent vs. 27 per cent);

• eight percent of youth in Fraser South went to bed hungry at least sometimes because there was not enough money for food at home. This percentage was higher than in 2013 (six per cent) but still lower than across B.C. (10 per cent);

• students were less likely to feel safe at school than five years earlier and were less likely to feel safe in their neighbourhood than youth across B.C. For example, 66 per cent of local males felt safe in their neighbourhood at night (vs. 73 per cent provincially), as did 50 per cent of local females (vs. 58 per cent);

• seventy-five per cent of youth had turned to a family member for help in the past year, and the majority of these students (95 per cent) found this experience helpful;

• local youth were more likely than youth across B.C. to have friends who would be upset with them if they dropped out of school (84 per cent vs. 82 per cent), were involved in a pregnancy (76 per cent vs. 73 per cent), used marijuana (61 per cent vs. 55 per cent) or got drunk (54 per cent vs. 45 per cent);

• most students in Fraser South felt that school staff expected them to do well (81 per cent), they were treated fairly by school staff (73 per cent), their teachers cared about them (68 per cent), they were happy to be at school (64 per cent) and they were a part of their school (63 per cent).

For the full report, visit https://www.mcs.bc.ca/pdf/balance_and_connection_frasersouth.pdf

SurreyWhite Rock

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

The emergency department at Peace Arch Hospital in White Rock, B.C., in July 2020. (Black Press Media)
Peace Arch Hospital Foundation reaches $12 million goal

New operating suites to open this fall

The RCMP logo is seen outside Royal Canadian Mounted Police “E” Division Headquarters, in Surrey, B.C., on April 13, 2018. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Surrey RCMP asking for dash-cam video of ‘suspicious incident’

Incident involves a newer model Toyota Rav 4 SUV

Surrey RCMP are investigating a “serious” collision near Cloverdale Saturday evening. (Curtis Kreklau photo)
Surrey RCMP investigating ‘serious’ collision in Cloverdale

Witness says vehicle collided with utility pole at approximately 9:30 p.m.

An animated Gordie Hogg introduces his 'Community Connections' videos. (YouTube screenshot)
Community Connections: Gordie Hogg speaks with Denise Stevenson

Former mayor, MP began posting conversations on YouTube in June

The Kimber family of Boston Bar lost their home in a fire. Blaine Kimber’s daughter created a fundraiser to help rebuild the home with the goal of $100,000. (Screenshot/GoFundMe)
Fundraiser created for Boston Bar family that lost everything in weekend fire

Witnesses say the Kimber family escaped the fire without injury, but their home is a total loss

(The Canadian Press)
‘Worse than Sept. 11, SARS and financial crisis combined’: Tourism industry in crisis

Travel services saw the biggest drop in active businesses with 31 per cent fewer firms operating

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Pictures and notes in from friends and classmates make up a memorial in support and memory of Aubrey Berry, 4, and her sister Chloe, 6, during a vigil held at Willows Beach in Oak Bay, B.C., on December 30, 2017. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chad Hipolito
Mother of slain daughters supports recent changes to Canada’s Divorce Act

Sarah Cotton-Elliott said she believed her children took a back seat to arranging equal parenting

Victoria man Brett Andersen is asking for people’s help to secure him one of eight free tickets to the moon. (Screenshot/@brettandersen Instagram)
Victoria man wants your help securing a free ticket to the moon

Japanese billionaire offering eight people a trip to the moon

The Conservation Officers Service is warning aquarium users after invasive and potentially destructive mussels were found in moss balls from a pet store. (BC Conservation Officers Service/Facebook)
Aquarium users in B.C. warned after invasive mussels found at pet store

Conservation officers were told the mussels were found in a moss ball from a Terrace pet store.

Hockey hall-of-fame legend Wayne Gretzky, right, watches the casket of his father, Walter Gretzky, as it is carried from the church during a funeral service in Brantford, Ont., Saturday, March 6, 2021. HE CANADIAN PRESS/Nathan Denette
Walter Gretzky remembered as a man with a ‘heart of gold’ at funeral

The famous hockey father died Thursday at age 82 after battling Parkinson’s disease

Most Read