School Pride flags vandalized, police notified
June 13, 2022
Over the weekend, the Pride flags at three elementary schools were taken down and vandalized.
The UGDSB considers these acts to be targeted hate crimes. We have reported the incidents to local police.
The board takes these acts very seriously and is taking immediate steps to support our schools, including ensuring the schools have additional Pride flags, increasing security measures, continuing to work with the police, and sharing messaging about our Display of Flags policy and procedures.
The UGDSB has a policy and procedures that outline the parameters for the flying of flags – Policy 310 Display of Flags.
It is the policy of the Upper Grand District School Board to display flags with dignity and respect. This policy is aligned with and supports the principles and expectations of the Board’s policies for Safe Schools (503) and Equity and Inclusive Education (504). At all times, this policy shall be consistent with all UGDSB policies and the Ontario Human Rights Code.
There is a common misconception that it is illegal for schools to fly additional flags on the same flag pole as the Canadian flag. However, the UGDSB policy and procedure is in alignment with the The National Flag of Canada Etiquette, which states, “The rules applied by the federal government are in no way mandatory for individuals or organizations; they may serve as guidelines for all persons who wish to display the National Flag of Canada and other flags in Canada.”
There is additional information on the board website about the Pride flag and 2SLGBTQIA+ inclusion in the UGDSB: https://www.ugdsb.ca/schools/safe-equitable-and-inclusive-schools/equity-and-inclusive-education/2slgbtq1-inclusion-in-the-ugdsb/