COURTENAY, B.C- A trio of local students have won big in School District 71’s latest contest.

Throughout the month of March, students in Comox Valley secondary schools submitted memes as part of the ethical sexual behaviour contest.

According to a news release from the district, Dr. Claire Vanston of Evidence-Based Education organized the contest as a way to promote sexual behaviour awareness and education among the student population.

The contest was made possible through funds from the provincial government’s Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Crime Remediation grant funding program.

Over 220 entries were submitted that advocated for ethical sexual behaviour.

The winner announcements were made at the School District 71 board office in Courtenay at 3:15 p.m. today.

According to Vanston, the entries were judged by high school students in School District 68, with 50 being sorted by a panel of parents, teachers, school administrators, and counselors to narrow it down to ten.

Vanston then chose the final three, based on the most consistent votes.

The winning entries came from Grade 11 Highland Secondary student David Schorno, Grade 8 Lake Trail Middle School student David Longoria, , and Grade 12 GP Vanier Secondary student Tory Kajak.

Grade 8 Lake Trail Middle School student David Longoria, Grade 11 Highland Secondary student David Schorno, and Grade 12 GP Vanier Secondary student Tory Kajak are pictured left to right with their winning memes. A representative of GP Vanier is on the right hand side.

Vanston has been delivering the majority of SD71’s sexual health curriculum for close to a decade, and believed the contest was a good way to reach the students.

“In the old days, you’d have students write essays or something like that,” said Vanston.

“I wanted to reach as many students in an area directly relevant to them. Of course, social media was one of them and memes are hot right now, so it seemed like a good approach.”

GP Vanier came away with a $250 award, as the school had the most submissions. The money will be going towards the digital arts and media photography programs.

The $1,750 in funding for the contest came from the province’s Civil Forfeiture Crime Prevention and Crime Remediation grant program.

Vanston indicated she plans to post the memes online, and possibly use them in posters and digital displays in schools.

-with files from Justin Goulet