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Rainbow crosswalk vandalized at a South Okanagan elementary school

Click to play video: 'Rainbow crosswalk at an Osoyoos Elementary School vandalized with white paint'
Rainbow crosswalk at an Osoyoos Elementary School vandalized with white paint
Rainbow crosswalk at an Osoyoos Elementary School vandalized with white paint – Mar 17, 2023

A crosswalk at a South Okanagan elementary school that portrays inclusivity has been vandalized, and staff and students are calling the act ‘disappointing.’

The crosswalk at the entrance of Osoyoos Elementary School which was once painted in vibrant colours of the rainbow was painted over in white paint over the weekend.

“A lot of the kids were coming to school, (saying) ‘what happened to our rainbow crosswalk?.’ So, we actually took a little while to sort out what happened, we thought our painters were going to repaint it, but then we discovered that someone actually came and took it upon themselves to cover it up,” said school principal, David Foster.

“This rainbow crosswalk represents kindness, acceptance, and belonging and it says we see you.”

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Staff believes it was someone acting out of hate, and to rise against that, the school held a ceremony on Friday to begin repainting the crosswalk back to what it once was.

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“It was really important that we got together today to have this opportunity to reinforce the importance of inclusivity, about celebrating diversity,” said Foster.

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During the ceremony, Foster gave a speech and several students came forward and assisted in repainting a part of the crosswalk.

“We had the rainbow crosswalk for a reason, to show kids they were safe, and for someone to come and just paint it over, it’s not good,” said Grade 6 student, Liliana Bento.

Due to cold weather conditions, only part of the crosswalk was allowed to be painted, and it is expected to be completed by the time students return from Spring Break.

“I feel really good that we can have our nice sidewalk back and I feel disappointed that someone was just to hate the way that we show that we like to welcome people here,” said Grade 7 student, Wyatt Rosin.

According to Osoyoos RCMP, camera footage from the area has been turned over, however, the quality is quite poor making it difficult to identify anyone.

An investigation is underway and anyone who may have information as to who is responsible is asked to contact RCMP.

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