A Central Washington University student has been arrested after being accused of stealing and burning the school’s LGBTQ + Pride flag and posting it online, officials said.
In a letter from university president Jim Wohlpart, officials confirmed that the LGBTQ + Pride flag outside the student recreation center was stolen on Wednesday and burned as it was filmed for social media.
“This is an appalling act of hatred against the LGBTQ + community,” the letter reads.
University officials have said that a CWU student has been arrested and will undergo the student conduct process, NBC Right Now reported.
A new pride flag was hoisted Thursday afternoon, school officials said, according to the publication.
The letter also mentions support for students, faculty and staff, including counseling resources.
“We are very disturbed that our LGBTQ + CWU community had to endure this identity violation; this act has diminished us all, ”Wohlpart wrote. “This is especially true during Pride Month, when many LGBTQ + CWU students, faculty and staff celebrate and commemorate their communities and commemorate the Stonewall riots.
“We will not tolerate these types of actions which reduce the identity of others, make them feel unwelcome and diminish their sense of security and belonging.”
CWU police said on Thursday they had arrested the official.
“We take these crimes very seriously and will not rest until a corrective outcome is obtained. This is another example of how we depend on the support and trust of our community to create a safe and secure learning environment, ”the authorities wrote in a Facebook post.
More than 1,700 people have signed a petition demanding consequences for the student accused of burning the flag.
“While I am not asking for this to be prosecuted in court, I am asking that there be academic consequences for this action, whether it is the removal of the money from the scholarship, the suspension or deportation, “wrote the organizer of the petition. “It is a heinous act and its actions must have consequences if this school is to promote a safe environment for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. “
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