Police have arrested three youths in connection with the burning of a Pride flag at a high school in Upper Tantallon last month. 

The flag was traditionally signed by 2SLGBTQIA+ students at graduation each year. It had been removed from the cafeteria, taken outside, and burned. 

In a media release Friday morning, Halifax District RCMP said when they responded to the school for a report of mischief on April 21 they learned that one youth, assisted by two others, had taken down the flag and brought it outside where it was burned.

Police said the incident was recorded by one of the youths. 

“Information gathered by investigators, in consultation with the Halifax Regional Police Hate Crimes Unit, indicates the criminal offence was motivated by hate based on sex, sexual orientation, gender identity and expression,” the release said.

All three youths were individually requested to present themselves to the Tantallon RCMP detachment on May 2, 3, and 4 with a parent or guardian where they were arrested.

Two of the youths are each facing a charge of mischief. The third is facing charges of mischief and abetting. All three were released on conditions and are scheduled to appear in Halifax Youth Justice Court at 9:30am on May 25.

“The RCMP takes incidents of hate very seriously and condemns criminal acts against any identifiable group,” the release said.  

On April 21, Bay View High School’s principal Dunovan Kalberlah sent an email to families about students who had taken “part in an act of discrimination” that week against school community members. He said a Pride flag was removed from the cafeteria and “desecrated.”

The principal advised families police were investigating and that the students involved would receive “appropriate consequences” according to the  Provincial Code of Conduct Policy

Yvette d’Entremont is a bilingual (English/French) journalist and editor who enjoys covering health, science, research, and education.

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