PEI

Pride flags held high at East Wiltshire school after complaints of homophobia

More than 100 people demonstrated outside of East Wiltshire Intermediate School in Cornwall Monday after reports of bullying during a Pride Festival event last week.

‘The school doesn’t talk about it as much as it should be talked about’

'Heartwarming' show of support for LGBTQ students at East Wiltshire Intermediate School

4 months ago
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After allegations of homophobic incidents last week, community rallies to 'show them some love.' 1:00

More than 100 people demonstrated outside of East Wiltshire Intermediate School in Cornwall, P.E.I., Monday after reports of bullying during a Pride Festival event last week.

The Public Schools Branch says it has received reports of very inappropriate behaviour. A parent reported students in black shirts were harassing students wearing Pride colours.

"It's really important that people are here supporting the cause," said student Ashley Payne, who identifies as bisexual and non-binary.

"The school doesn't talk about it as much as it should be talked about."

Organizer Grace Kimpinski said she was very upset when she heard the reports about the incidents at the school on Thursday.

"I just thought those kids need to know that someone can stand up with them, and for them, and I thought, well, I'm just going to go to the school and hold my flag," she said.

"Then I thought I might as well invite some friends to join me, and then it became a bigger thing."

Dozens stood at the roadside in support of Pride as students were arriving Monday morning. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

Kimpinski said she doesn't consider herself much of an activist, but standing at the roadside is not a lot to ask given the importance of supporting the students inside.

"I'm proud that I'm able to do that," she said.

"I feel like I'm surrounded by people that allow me to do that. I know there are a lot of people who don't feel comfortable doing that. I think it's a sad state of 2021 that people still get bullied for how they identify or who they choose to love."

While some students did come and stand with the supporters, she knows there are still students that would not feel comfortable doing that. 

"They're afraid to," she said.

'It's really important that people are here supporting the cause,' said Ashley Payne. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

"I'm hoping that these kinds of shows of support and this sharing of the love will help those children, help those kids, help those adults even, know that there are people in the community that care for them."

Kimpinski doesn't want to make any assumptions about what did or didn't happen in the school, but she does want to make sure students understand they have support.

'I'm hoping that these kinds of shows of support and this sharing of the love will help those children,' says organizer Grace Kimpinski. (Steve Bruce/CBC)

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With files from Steve Bruce

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