Vanderhoof elementary students clean up burnout left on new rainbow crosswalk

W.L. McLeod Elementary students in Vanderhoof spent their Thursday morning remediating the community’s new rainbow crosswalk that was recently damaged by a large burnout. (Aman Parhar photo)W.L. McLeod Elementary students in Vanderhoof spent their Thursday morning remediating the community’s new rainbow crosswalk that was recently damaged by a large burnout. (Aman Parhar photo)
Messages like “Share the Love” and “No Hate” were etched in chalk over the crosswalk between NVSS and W.L. McLeod. (Aman Parhar photo)Messages like “Share the Love” and “No Hate” were etched in chalk over the crosswalk between NVSS and W.L. McLeod. (Aman Parhar photo)
Vanderhoof RCMP has launched an investigation after a brand new rainbow crosswalk on Victoria Street was damaged less than a day after it was installed. (Aman Parhar photo)Vanderhoof RCMP has launched an investigation after a brand new rainbow crosswalk on Victoria Street was damaged less than a day after it was installed. (Aman Parhar photo)

W.L McLeod Elementary School in Vanderhoof proved love always wins over hate after spending their morning sharing messages of unity, as they attempted to remove a large burnout from a newly installed rainbow crosswalk.

Vanderhoof RCMP said they received a report Thursday, June 24 the rainbow crosswalk on Victoria Street was damaged overnight.

The senseless crime that has caused concern to the community comes less than a day after the crosswalk was painted to show support to the LGBTQ2S+ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Queer or Questioning and Two-Spirit) community.

Read More: School District 91 holds first ‘Share the Love Day’

Grade 5/6 teacher Nick Meads was joined by several students who etched messages in chalk such as ‘Share the Love’ and ‘No Hate’ as they tried to fix the brand new crosswalk.

“It’s sad that I had to, but even last night, I was worried this might happen. I was hoping that it would last the weekend, and on Monday morning we would come and do it,” Meads told the Express June 24.

“So this morning I told my students that your beliefs are your own, but I am going to share mine right now, and I am angry, and I don’t like what has happened.”

Meads said he offered to repair the crosswalk as a choice.

Read More: Vanderhoof council gives green light to rainbow crosswalk in the community

However, the vast majority of his class felt the same way and wanted to do something to help. They got together, gathered chalk, and tried to scrape off and cover up the burn mark.

The scraping didn’t work, so students ended up covering it up with chalk the best they could do. But in the process, they also put up messages of love around the crosswalk.

“We have had some great feedback from people driving by,” Meads said.

“We have had a couple of people driving a little close and don’t seem happy with us, but that’s not stopping us. We have gotten some great cheers of thanks and things like that which makes us feel good about what we are doing.”

RCMP continue to investigate and ask anyone with information to contact the Vanderhoof Detachment at 250-567-2222 or Crimestoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS.

With files from Aman Parhar


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