LGBTQ flag burned at school before Pride event in California

An LGBTQ flag was burned at an elementary school in California.

Police have said the incident occurred ahead of a Pride event and is currently being investigated as a hate crime.

According to NBC News, Los Angeles Unified School District said someone had broken into Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood during the weekend that preceded 22 May and burned the flag.

On Wednesday, a deputy chief with the police department’s Valley Bureau, Alan Hamilton, said the flag was set alight on the campus.

He added: “There was a small potted plant that was set on fire on the campus and the plant had a small (4 x 6 inch) PRIDE flag inside the potted plant container.

“Both the plant and the flag were destroyed by the fire.”

“There are no suspects in custody at this time,” Mr Hamilton said.

According to the school, police will be providing additional patrols around the campus as the incident remains the subject of an “active investigation”.

‘Treat each other with respect’

On 22 May, the school district shared a message reminding families to report any “suspicious activity” on the school grounds.

The message said: “We experienced a break-in over the weekend at Saticoy Elementary that resulted in vandalism and is being investigated as a hate-motivated incident.

“We are cooperating with law enforcement. This is a reminder that we rely on our entire school community to keep our school safe and secure by reporting any suspicious activity on campus after hours. If you see something, say something.”

It said that they are “committed” to creating a “safe and inclusive learning environment that embraces the diversity of the communities we serve”.

The district said it continues to encourage “everyone in our school communities to treat each other with respect, kindness and compassion so that our students can be empowered to achieve their greatest potential”.

Renato Lira, the director of the San Fernando Valley LGBTQ Center, said a Pride Day assembly at the school is scheduled for Friday and that the organization is working with the school and police to make sure students stay safe.

Mr Lira added: “We are really concerned. We wanted to make sure the kids are safe during the time they’re inside the school. We are working on this around the clock.”


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