Four teens who spray-painted a homophobic slur across a rainbow crosswalk at a Burnaby school last weekend will go through the RCMP’s restorative justice program.
Police got a complaint Monday that the rainbow crosswalk at Moscrop Secondary School had been defaced sometime Saturday.
A Moscrop student, who did not want their name used, sent the NOW a photo of the vandalized crosswalk and a second photo of a drawing of two penises and a vulgar statement spraypainted on a wall.
The student expressed concern that the school’s security cameras were not working, but the school district told the NOW the cameras were working.
“This incident was dealt with very quickly,” assistant superintendent Roberto Bombelli said in an emailed statement. “RCMP were called in to investigate, and our maintenance staff removed the graffiti before students returned to school Monday morning.”
Four teens, two boys and two girls, were identified as being responsible for the defacement of the crosswalk, said police, and each has admitted to their role.
One of the teens had actually gone back to the crosswalk the day after and tried to remove the offensive scrawl, according to RCMP Cpl. Daniela Panesar.
Police have spoken to each of the teens and parents, she said.
“All were made aware of how serious an incident this was and what the possible criminal justice outcomes could be,” Panesar said.
Because the teens admitted their guilt, showed remorse and had had no previous police history, however, officials decided the four should got through the restorative justice program, which “will allow each of the teens to take responsibility for their actions and to be actively involved in repairing the harm they have caused,” according to Panesar.
The Moscrop rainbow crosswalk was installed this fall as a symbol of inclusion, especially of lesbian, gay and transgender students, teachers and community members.
“Moscrop is proud of its inclusive environment and this vandalism does not reflect the culture there or in any of our schools,” Bombelli said.
The school officials said the district’s other high school rainbow crosswalk at Burnaby Mountain Secondary School has not been vandalized.