Pride flag fire exposed at Central Washington University
On Thursday, Central Washington University leaders swiftly condemned the theft and burning of an LGBTQ Pride flag.
A student allegedly stole the rainbow flag of the student association and the recreation center on Wednesday and set it on fire, spreading his actions on social networks.
In an article posted on its Facebook page, the campus police department wrote that it was “able to successfully investigate and apprehend the suspect responsible.”
A university spokesperson declined to name the student or any charges against him, referring the questions to the Kittitas County Prosecutor’s Office. The prosecutor’s office also declined to provide information on the case and asked The Spokesman-Review to file a dossier request to obtain it.
University leaders, including President Jim Wohlpart, wrote in a public letter Thursday that the incident “denigrates members of our community” and “violates our most fundamental values.”
“This is an appalling act of hatred against the LGBTQ + community,” the letter reads.
A new pride flag has been hung from the Students’ Union, according to Kremiere Jackson, the university’s vice president of public affairs.
When asked if the anonymous student would face disciplinary action, Jackson said he would go “through the student conduct process.”
An online petition, signed by nearly 2,000 people on Friday afternoon, does not call for criminal proceedings against the student but demands “academic consequences for this action, whether it is the removal of the student. ‘scholarship, suspension or expulsion money “.
“It is a heinous act and there must be consequences for its actions if this school is to promote a safe environment for all students, regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity,” the petition says.
In response to the flag fire, the university directed students, faculty and staff to the resources available at its counseling center and center for diversity and inclusion. He also hinted at plans to form a “healing circle,” details of which will be released at a later date.
“We understand that no action we take can erase the trauma of this event,” the letter said.