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Cache County school officials call removal of pride flag 'disrespectful'

Posted at 4:03 PM, Apr 14, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 19:18:51-04

MILLVILLE, Utah — Video showing a student cutting down a pride flag from Ridgeline High School Tuesday has drawn condemnation from the Cache County School District.

(WARNING: The video below contains language that some may not find suitable)

Pride Flag Cut Down

The unidentified student can be seen removing the flag from the second floor of the commons area at the Millville campus. A majority of other students can be heard cheering in the video when the flag falls.

The pride flag was put up with flags from all the countries of the world to celebrate diversity week, and though students said the person who tore it down wasn’t hateful, it was still hurtful.

Looking from the outside, some people make judgements — that’s what Syd Seeholzer, a senior at Ridgeline High School has experienced for herself.

“I am part of the LGBTQ community,” said Seeholzer. “People like to belittle the LGBTQ community.”

It’s something Seeholzer wants to make sure doesn’t happen to the student caught on camera, cutting down the pride flag.

“I don’t think it was a thinking moment,” said Seeholzer. “He called me and apologized to me.”

According to the district, the flag was hung during the school's Diversity Week which is held to promote inclusion among the student body. The student who cut down the flag was not part of the event, according to district officials.

"Neither the school nor the school district condones the insensitive and disrespectful removal of the flag, which was done without permission," the district said in a statement.

Parents and community members who saw the video circulating on social media decided to rally at the high school with pride flags of their own.

Adam Tripp, who grew up in Cache Valley said he was there to show solidarity.

“I thought it was important to show you can be whoever you want to be, and stay in the valley, grow up and have a happy life here,” said Tripp.

Heidi Matthews, a parent of Ridgeline High School students said one of her own kids is part of the LGBTQ community.

“As the mom of a gay child, watching that flag as it fell and the kids cheered, I just wish they could understand the impact that that is having on these kids,” said Matthews.

For the ones who felt alone yesterday, Matthews said she wanted to bring an army of support to the sidewalk — what may have looked like a protest, was a rally of friends.

In its statement, the district did not say whether the student who removed the flag would be disciplined for his actions.

"This type of incident reminds us of the importance of continually educating students, not just during a Diversity Week, on the importance of respecting one another and the right to attend school, participate in events, and learn in a safe and respectful school environment."

People held pride flags during a protest outside the school Wednesday in support of the LGBTQ community.