Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)

B.C. high school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Staff and students have restored the pride flag crosswalk at a high school in a Victoria suburb following its vandalization only three days after its initial painting and before Monday’s International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia.

West Shore RCMP responded to Royal Bay shortly after midnight on May 16. A group of 18 to 20 people, reported by witnesses to be spray painting on and around the school, immediately fled. Police stopped one vehicle with three occupants, two of whom were arrested for mischief in connection to the vandalized crosswalk, which was discovered in the morning. Both arrested men were residents of Colwood.

The pride flag crosswalk was the legacy project and inclusion effort of 17-year-old queer senior student Oskar Wood.

The initial hurt Wood felt hearing about the vandalism was almost eclipsed by self-doubt after discovering the extent of the hateful messaging, he said.

READ MORE: Senior student leaves mark at Royal Bay Secondary School for LGBTQ+ students

Hate terms were painted across the crosswalk along with graphic phallic imagery, said Danielle Huculak, teacher and facilitator of Colwood’s Royal Bay Secondary School’s gender and sexuality alliance. A racist word was also spray-painted at another part of the school. Police are investigating for incite of public hatred.

“I thought it was just going to be scribbles – nothing so hateful,” Wood said. “It’s hard for me, as a 17-year-old kid, to see this hate … I’m trying as hard as I can to stay positive and focus on the community that is supporting me.”

Support has been pouring in, both online and with offers to help fix the crosswalk.

“On this International Day against homophobia, transphobia and biphobia, we are only too recently reminded that discrimination does still exist in our communities,” said Sooke School District chairperson Ravi Parmar in an online statement. “There is no place for homophobia, transphobia, biphobia and racism in our classrooms, our schools, our homes or our communities.”

The Sooke School District launched the #SD62Pride Twitter campaign for participants to submit photos for the school district of LGBTQ+ pride.

Reactions on social media against the vandalism also included death threats towards the perpetrators, which Wood said they didn’t deserve. “They don’t deserve hate – that’s exactly what this crosswalk is meant for, it’s meant to promote acceptance, empathy [and] mutual respect.”

Wood, along with three other students and Royal Bay staff restored the crosswalk Sunday afternoon, which also featured a rolling crowd of support from passersby and a speech from Colwood Mayor Rob Martin.

Bu the blatant hate “almost strengthened the meaning behind the crosswalk,” Wood said. “Now that we’ve painted over it, [it shows] we will not stand for this. We will not accept what hateful things are put on the crosswalk. If it happens again, we’ll just repaint it – over and over and over again.”

West Shore RCMP did not respond to a request for comment by the time of publication.

For more news from Vancouver Island and beyond delivered daily into your inbox, please click here.

ALSO READ: B.C. radio host left with broken leg after confrontation with anti-gay street preachers


Do you have a story tip? Email: kiernan.green@blackpress.ca.

Follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and like us on Facebook.

SD62West Shore

Just Posted

The RCMP presence in Central Okanagan public schools is being reviewed by the board of education. (File photo)
RCMP presence welcomed in Central Okanagan public schools

Staff survey feedback overwhelmingly positive from students, staff and parents

The administrative headquarters for the Central Okanagan Public Schools. (File photo)
COVID-19 exposures confirmed at 2 Central Okanagan Schools

The infected individuals are self-isolating at home

Farming Karma is set to release a line of fruit vodka sodas soon. (Twila Amato/Black Press Media)
Kelowna fruit growers expanding line of beverages

Farming Karma is expanding from fruit sodas to fruit vodka sodas

At an outdoor drive-in convocation ceremony, Mount Royal University bestows an honorary Doctor of Laws on Blackfoot Elder and residential school survivor Clarence Wolfleg in Calgary on Tuesday, June 8, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jeff McIntosh
‘You didn’t get the best of me’: Residential school survivor gets honorary doctorate

Clarence Wolfleg receives honorary doctorate from Mount Royal University, the highest honour the school gives out

Jane Linden
KCR: Volunteering keeps you active

Kelowna Community Resources shares stories of its volunteers in a weekly column

Two-year-old Ivy McLeod laughs while playing with Lucky the puppy outside their Chilliwack home on Thursday, June 10, 2021. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
VIDEO: B.C. family finds ‘perfect’ puppy with limb difference for 2-year-old Ivy

Ivy has special bond with Lucky the puppy who was also born with limb difference

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

A million-dollar ticket was sold to an individual in Vernon from the Lotto Max draw Friday, June 11, 2021. (Photo courtesy of BCLC)
Lottery ticket worth $1 million sold in Vernon

One lucky individual holds one of 20 tickets worth $1 million from Friday’s Lotto Max draw

“65 years, I’ve carried the stories in my mind and live it every day,” says Jack Kruger. (Athena Bonneau)
‘Maybe this time they will listen’: Survivor shares stories from B.C. residential school

Jack Kruger, living in Syilx territory, wasn’t surprised by news of 215 children’s remains found on the grounds of the former Kamloops Indian Residential School

A logging truck carries its load down the Elaho Valley near in Squamish, B.C. in this file photo. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Chuck Stoody
Squamish Nation calls for old-growth logging moratorium in its territory

The nation says 44% of old-growth forests in its 6,900-square kilometre territory are protected while the rest remain at risk

Flowers and cards are left at a makeshift memorial at a monument outside the former Kamloops Indian Residential School to honour the 215 children whose remains are believed to have been discovered buried near the city in Kamloops, B.C., on Monday, May 31, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
‘Pick a Sunday:’ Indigenous leaders ask Catholics to stay home, push for apology

Indigenous leaders are calling on Catholics to stand in solidarity with residential school survivors by not attending church services

Most Read