Peel police, school board investigating video of students allegedly burning pride flag

A screenshot from the video circulating social media.

Peel Police and the The Peel District School Board have launched an investigation into a video circulating on social media depicting the burning of a pride flag.

The video depicts a rainbow pride flag burning on the ground, while laughing can be heard. 

It is alleged that the individuals involved in the incident are students at Cawthra Park Secondary School (CPSS).

“The Peel District School Board (PDSB) and the administration at Cawthra Park Secondary School are aware of a video showing individuals burning a pride flag,” PDSB told CTV News Toronto on Thursday.

“The PDSB and Cawthra Park Secondary School condemn this hateful act of homophobia, transphobia and biphobia. We take this very seriously and have begun an investigation,” they continued.

A letter sent to CPSS families by principal Tyler Mcleod claimed that not only did Cawthra students commit the act, but subsequently sent the video to fellow 2SLGBTQIA+ students.

“I am truly sorry for the harm caused by this incident,” Mcleod wrote.

“As a learning community, we are committed to increasing our individual and collective skills and understanding to clearly confront racist acts and to ensure our school environment is safe and aligns with PDSB’s values of educating our learners through an anti-racist, anti-oppressive lens,” he continued.

Mayor Bonnie Crombie also released a statement on the incident Thursday afternoon, saying she was  "appalled and saddened" by the act.

"This incident hits very close to home for me. I am a proud parent of a 2SLGBTQ+ son. And I can only imagine the hurt and concern an act like this could cause families with 2SLGBTQ+ children," Crombie said.

Minister of Education Stephen Lecce called the incident “disturbing, unacceptable and contrary to our commitment to inclusivity for all students.”

“There is zero tolerance for bullying, intimidation, and violence. I expect the Peel District School Board to support and act to protect Ontario’s 2SLGBTQ+ students,” Lecce said in a statement to CTV News Toronto Thrusday.

The incident was reported to Peel police on June 8 and is still being investigated, Constable Akhil Mooken told CTV News Toronto. A statement made by Peel Police on Twitter said the incident is being investigated as hate-motivated.