Students propose repainting crosswalk in show of support

By on January 24, 2018
Merritt city council has denied a request to paint this sidewalk across Coldwater Avenue in rainbow colours to support LGBTQ students. (Photo from Google Maps).


In an effort to signal their support for the LGBTQ community, School District 58 intends to ask the City of Merritt for permission to paint a crosswalk outside Merritt Secondary School (MSS) in the rainbow colours of the pride flag.

School trustees heard from the high school’s pride group, which requested the rainbow-coloured crosswalk to support lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning (LGBTQ) pride, at last Wednesday’s school board meeting.

“What we would like to do is paint the crosswalk out [in] front of the school with the new, all-inclusive pride flag colours,” one delegation member told trustees.

She said many schools in Canada and the U.S. have been painting these crosswalks and they want Merritt to follow suit.

“Why do we want to do this? Because love is love no matter what form,” the student said, adding that they want to show the high school supports its students regardless of their religion, race or sexuality.

She said she hopes the crosswalk will help to reduce bullying and show that at MSS students can express themselves freely without fear of being judged.

School board chair Gordon Comeau told the delegation that it would be a good idea to convince the City of Merritt that this is a worthwhile venture.

“Then it represents more than just the school, it represents a buy-in on the part of the city,” said Comeau.

Trustees voted unanimously to support the request and approach the municipality for permission to paint the crosswalk.

If denied the request from the city, trustees suggested looking at alternatives such as painting a section of the bus loop located on school property.


  1. Bessie

    January 24, 2018 at 5:37 pm

    I don’t believe the LGBTQ needs support in our community by painting rainbow sidewalks paid for by the Tax Payers.! As a tax payer I have to say – we need safe crosswalks, maybe with a flashing light on Voght Street before the hospital / and before the RCMP going up to the Bench Elementary school located on 3341 Grimmet Street in Merritt.

    I disagree that money is spent on rainbow cross walks our little town of Merritt in support of the LGBTQ community in Merritt. We have many other projects that should be considered before doing ‘a money wasting project’ such as this.

    Many children walk to school on the Coldwater Ave between Voght Street and Houston Street. There is one poorly marked cross walk where school children can safely cross Coldwater Ave on the entire 7+blocks of street that *the children* of all ages walk.

    Could we maybe look at areas such as these that need basic Cross-walk lines painted onto the road. Could (push button) flashing lights be put in place on any of the areas where faster traffic travels. It should be all about safety for the children!

    **NO to Multi-color RAINBOW cross walks, it’s a waste of money. We need to spend our tax dollars wisely please!!

    • Mary Hale

      January 25, 2018 at 6:25 pm

      I agree…not on our taxpayer money..NO

  2. Kati

    January 25, 2018 at 11:01 am

    Bessie, a rainbow crosswalk is about safety. It tells lgbtq+ kids and other humans that this is a safe space for them and they are supported. It’s a symbolic gesture of support and respect for a people who have a history of being bullied and abused, even killed, simply for existing.

  3. glen rutherford

    January 25, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    paint used on roadways is special paint. It has reflective components and it’s formulated to reduce slipperiness. I hope they don’t use regular paint, that would cause a slippery patch on the roadway and reduce safety to pedestrians.

  4. John

    January 31, 2018 at 7:47 pm

    A multicolor sidewalk doesn’t create a safe space. It creates a multicolor side walk

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