‘Disturbed and saddened’: New rainbow crosswalk in Langford vandalized twice in 24 hours

‘Disturbed and saddened’: New rainbow crosswalk in Langford vandalized twice in 24 hours
The crosswalk is pictured on Feb. 15, 2024.

In just a matter of 24 hours, a new rainbow crosswalk celebrating 2SLGBTQIA+ people was vandalized twice in Langford.

The new crosswalk, painted in front of Spencer Middle School on Tuesday, was vandalized just hours after it was unveiled.

The City of Langford says it quickly repaired the damage caused by the vandalism, but later that night the crosswalk was vandalized again, leaving tire marks and spray paint on the rainbow colours.

Langford-Juan de Fuca MLA Ravi Parmar condemned the vandalism Thursday, saying that “hateful acts have no place here.”

“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,” he said in a statement.

Crosswalk was made for students

The rainbow crosswalk was an initiative brought forward by the school’s Sexual Orientation and Gender Identities (SOGI) Club.

The club had originally written a letter to Langford city hall hoping to get the project started.

“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 club wrote.

The flag included the typical pride colours, as well as colours representing Trans people and Black, Indigenous and people of colour (BIPOC).

Jen Nixon, the school’s principal, said she was “proud and impressed” by her students for coming forward with the project and keeping the pressure on to see its completion when it was unveiled on Tuesday.

SEE PREVIOUS: ‘So proud’: Langford students collaborate with city to install new Pride crosswalk outside school

The school district says it still supports all students, despite the recent vandalism.

“We are saddened for our students and their families who feel less welcome and safe in our community,” said Sooke School District Superintendent Paul Block on Thursday.

“It’s crucial to recognize that today’s students are tomorrow’s leaders,” he said. “Empowering them to embrace their identities and champion tolerance and acceptance is essential for cultivating a future characterized by compassion and equity, where everyone can live without fear of prejudice or violence.”

The West Shore RCMP is investigating the incident.

With files from CHEK’s Ethan Morneau


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