Peel police investigate burning of Pride flag at Mississauga school as hate-motivated incident
‘We are taking it seriously and are investigating the incident,' Peel police spokesperson Akhil Mooken says
The burning of a Pride flag at a school in Mississauga is being investigated as a hate-motivated incident, Peel police say.
Video of the incident, in which a group of students filmed themselves burning the flag at Cawthra Park Secondary, has been circulating on social media.
"We are aware of this and the incident is getting a lot of public attention. We are taking it seriously and are investigating the incident as a hate-motivated occurrence," Peel police spokesperson Akhil Mooken told CBC News.
In terms of potential charges, Mooken said that in cases like this, investigators have to look at the circumstances, where the flag was obtained, and what was the motive for the incident.
So far police have not made any arrests.
School board, administration condemn 'hateful act'
Meanwhile, the Peel District School Board (PDSB) and the administration at Cawthra Park Secondary issued a joint statement condemning "this hateful act of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia."
PDSB and the school administration said they take the incident very seriously and have begun an investigation.
"We recognize the harm that actions like this cause our students, staff and families. Behaviour like this is unacceptable and will not be tolerated at Cawthra Park or at any school within the PDSB," they wrote in the statement.
"Collectively, the PDSB is committed to dismantling systemic homophobia, transphobia, and oppression as a foundation for student achievement and wellbeing."
Cawthra Park students and staff who require wellness support have been encouraged to reach out to the school guidance department and or the school administration.
"We value inclusion and respect, and we encourage all of our students to play an important role in building a culture of human rights at their schools," the statement said.
With files from Nathan Crocker