Osoyoos Secondary School students now have a crest with which to identify as they continue a fight to keep secondary education in Osoyoos.

An effort involving the Save Osoyoos Secondary and Elementary Schools committee and Unity, a local board and clothing shop, Friday delivered upwards of 200 T-shirts emblazoned with the crest and #OsoyoosStrong messaging to OSS students.

The students were invited to pick up the free T-shirts during their first break Friday morning from a delivery station assembled just off school property. More than 200 students took advantage of the opportunity.

Other Osoyoos residents can purchase the shirts for a minimum $20 donation. The shirts are available at the Unity store and at other locations within the community.

“The idea is for people in the community to wear them every Friday,” said Jamie Elder, owner of the Unity store.

“It’ll be a good initial fundraising effort, but even more than that it’s a show of unity within the community and that everyone’s on board with the new school and so forth.”

Supporters can also express their commitment to the effort by taking photos of themselves and friends wearing the shirts and uploading them to various social media using #OsoyoosStrong.

Of course, the shirts didn’t come without a little controversy. The Okanagan Similkameen School District reportedly expressed its displeasure and, for a time Friday morning, it appeared students would not be allowed to wear the shirts on school property.

“I’ll just say that my phone was ringing quite a bit this morning but things were worked out before this began,” said Mr. Elder.

“(The district) had an initial issue with the symbol on the shirt, which I found interesting, but they chose in the end not to go public with that viewpoint.”

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