Kitchener-Waterloo

Pride flags damaged at two elementary schools in Kitchener

Waterloo Regional Police are not sure how many suspects were involved in the damage and vandalism of Pride flags at two elementary schools in Kitchener. The entrance of Waterloo Region District School board was also vandalized.

Pride flags were damaged at Sandhill Public School and Westheights Public School

Pride flags were damaged and vandalized at Sandhill Public School and Westheights Public School. The Waterloo Region District School Board entrance was also vandalized. (Tyler Pidlubny/CBC)

Pride flags at two elementary schools in Kitchener were damaged and vandalized as well as the head office of the Waterloo Region District School Board (WRDSB). 

Waterloo Regional Police are not sure how many suspects were involved but said it happened sometime between hours of 8:30 p.m. Thursday and 7:00 a.m. Friday.

Police said the suspect(s) shredded and cut the Pride flags at Sandhill Public School and Westheights Public School and sprayed painted graffiti near the base of the flagpoles.

Similar graffiti was also left in the entrance of the WRDSB's head office on Ardelt Avenue in Kitchener.

 "We want our buildings to be safe spaces for everyone who walks through our doors," said the WRDSB in a release. "We are very disappointed that these acts of vandalism occurred at our schools and our Education Centre."

In June, the WRDSB launched an initiative to raise Pride flags at all of its schools to celebrate Pride month. The initiative aimed to create inclusive safe spaces for LGBTQ students in all 121 elementary and high school locations within the board.

"Although it's definitely property damage or mischief, we are considering it a hate crime and are investigating it like that,"  WRPS spokesperson Mike Haffner told CBC News.

The WRDSB and police haven't revealed what the graffiti said. However, Haffner said Thursday's overnight rain obscured the writing.

Police is investigating the incidents and are asking anyone with information to contact police.

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