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Pride flag burnt outside Kitchener, Ont. high school: Police


Waterloo regional police are investigating after a Pride flag was trampled and set on fire outside a Kitchener, Ont. high school.

In a news release, police said a group of teens, aged 15 to 17, took the flag from Eastwood Collegiate Institute on Thursday.

Police said they stepped on it then set it on fire.

In an email sent to parents, the school's principal identified the teens as students and said after trampling and burning the flag, they threw it at a group of 2SLGBTQIA+ students.

“This same group of students then threw rocks at the 2SLGBTQIA+ students as they boarded their bus,” the principal said.

Police said no one was injured.

The incident is being investigated as hate-motivated.

“We take these investigations very seriously," Const. Brad Hickey said. "We have a dedicated team of investigators from both our general investigations unit and our equity, diversity and inclusion unit who are actively investigating."

“We’re really pleading to members of the public and the student population to please come forward with any information or video footage that they may have.”

Eastwood Collegiate Institute on Aug. 25, 2021 (Terry Kelly / CTV Kitchener)


The Waterloo Region District School Board declined an interview with CTV News but said in a statement it is “deeply saddened and concerned by the alleged incident that happened outside Eastwood Collegiate Institute.”

“We want parents, families, and the wider community to know that we are taking this incident very seriously,” it continued.

"As a school district, we are deeply committed to the safety of our students and to creating and maintaining identify-affirming learning environments, where everyone feels safe and experiences a sense of belonging."

The principal’s letter said a team will be at the school on Friday offering on-site support, including school board social workers.

“As we move forward, we will use the tools we know best - education and support - to address the impact this incident has had on our school community,” the letter said.

The board said they will not be commenting further, as it is a police investigation involving students.


In an email, Spectrum, a local 2SLGBTQIA+ organization, said it strongly condemns the incident, categorizing it as a "demonstration of hate."

"2SLGBTQIA+ youth in our community deserve safety and respect. Queer and trans people have always been here, and will always be here. Waterloo Region is no place for hate," Spectrum said.

"We call upon allies to take action to prevent hate speech and other acts of anti-2SLGBTQIA+ violence in our community." Top Stories

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