Facebook group honoring Dawson shooter worries students
by Chris Pike
A Dawson student, whose identity is protected under the Information Confidentiality Act, emailed Director General Richard Filion on January 28, 2010, about the disturbing Facebook fan page of Dawson shooter Kimveer Gill.
The email described to Filion the group’s praise for Kimveer Gill’s actions and how its members viewed him as a martyr.
The next day at 10:44 a.m. an email was sent by Director of Communications Donna Varrica to every member of Dawson’s staff and within less than three hours the fan page was gone from the popular social networking site.
“We couldn’t take something like this lightly,” Varrica said.
Varrica’s email contained a link to the Facebook group and urged those who were offended by it to please report the group to Facebook administrators in hopes that it would be taken down. It was not only Dawson’s staff that took action towards getting the page taken down.
The Dawson Student Union also rallied against the Facebook page after having received the email from Varrica sending their own email out to several members of the Dawson community recommending that they also report the page.
“[The DSU was] thrilled to learn that it was removed by that same afternoon,” DSU Executive Director Mathieu Perron said.
Dawson also had to inform the police of the Facebook page under Quebec’s Bill 9, known as “Anastasia’s Law”. The bill requires that any professional, such as teachers and doctors, report suspicious behavior regardless of confidentiality agreements.
“They were praising a murderer, doing that is just horrible. They should be ashamed,” second semester Arts and Culture student Sean Mundy said.
Among the 86 members of the Facebook group several were current and former Dawson students. Many of the groups members were using fictitious names and pictures.
“The alarming number of people who joined this group is definitely frightening,” second semester Pure and Applied student Dahlia Belinsky said. “The idea that there are more people out there who are in the same frame of mind as [Kimveer Gill] is just terrifying.”