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Pride crosswalk in Langford installed, vandalized, restored in short order

Middle school’s Progress Pride Flag crosswalk helps promote diversity and inclusivity
Langford installed a progress pride crosswalk at Spencer Middle School on Feb. 13. (City of Langford/Facebook)

A new rainbow crosswalk at Spencer Middle School is fully repaired after being hit with vandalism hours after installation.

The crosswalk celebrating Langford’s diversity and honouring the 2SLGBTQIA+ community was installed on Feb. 13 and vandalized within hours, according to a press release from the City of Langford, but due to swift actions by concerned citizens it was promptly repaired.

Langford Coun. Kimberley Guiry called the vandalism unacceptable.

“We live in a time where the most vulnerable community members need strong allies in leadership roles and reinforced messages of support from the community,” said Guiry. “Vandalism and hate are never appropriate and have no place in our community.”

Ravi Parmar, the MLA for Langford said that the attack against the crosswalk was a despicable act.

“I am disturbed and saddened by the recent act of vandalism that targeted the new rainbow crosswalk outside Spencer Middle School, a symbol of love, hope, and community unity. Such ignorant and hateful acts have no place here, and I share in the collective outrage of our community,” said Parmar.

The initiative for the crosswalk was brought forward to council by members of Spencer Middle School’s Sexual Orientation, Gender Identities (SOGI) Club.

The crosswalk included the traditional rainbow colours associated with the 2SLGBTQIA community and colours to represent Black, Indigenous, and people of colour.

“Adding a Progress Pride Flag crosswalk to our community will communicate the importance of diversity and hopefully unite the underrepresented 2SLGBTQIA+ youth, adults, seniors, and families in Langford,” the SOGI group wrote in a letter to council.

Jen Nixon, Spencer Middle School’s principal, said she was proud of her students for speaking up.

“It takes courage to stand up for human rights, and it takes grit to persevere on the journey of creating an inclusive, diverse, and respectful community,” Nixon said.

The students had guidance from leaders throughout the school, including teacher Kelly McCarthy, a teacher; Su Castle, a student engagement facilitator; and Rachelle Wadham, an education assistant.

“These students have exemplified their commitment to being engaged citizens working to make society more welcoming for everyone,” said Nixon.

The crosswalk had council support and Mayor Scott Goodmanson said he was thrilled to see inclusive and thoughtful leadership.

“The addition of a rainbow crosswalk at Spencer Middle School represents the city’s support and commitment to ensuring a safe and welcome environment for all residents to feel seen and represented in their community,” said Goodmanson.

The student representative from the SOGI Group said they were excited about the installation.

“We hope it will make all students feel welcome and safe. The rainbow represents the spectrum of identities at Spencer Middle School as well as our shared values of inclusivity and respect.”

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