Student Caught Cutting Down Pride Flag at School Causes Viral Controversy

Video of a teenager cutting down a high school's LGBTQ Pride flag has caused both local and national controversy after circulating online.

Footage of the incident on Tuesday shows a student at Ridgeline High School in Millville, Utah taking down the flag hanging from a balcony. In the video, which made its way to Reddit, students on the floor below can be heard loudly cheering as the flag hits the ground.

According to The Herald Journal, Ridgeline High School was celebrating its Diversity Week when the incident occurred. One anonymous student shared with the outlet that they felt "attacked" by the incident.

"Today at Ridgeline High School someone was fixing a Pride flag that had been flipped over," they said. "Some kids started booing when they did this. Another student was trying to keep them from fixing the flag. Then another student came and cut it off with a knife. Not only did he feel the need to remove the flag, he also used a knife."

The Salt Lake Tribune reported that the suspected hate crime occurred before a Gay-Straight Alliance event between schools in the district. Cache County School District spokesperson Tim Smith told the outlet the Pride flag was "put up specifically for that event."

Many took to social media to express their disdain for the events in the video. "The amount of kids cheering when the Pride flag gets cut down is sickening ... be better," one person tweeted.

"Don't pat yourselves on the back for simply instituting a 'diversity week' when the students participating in it have zero understanding of what it means to respect diversity," another angry commenter wrote on the high school's Facebook page.

This is disgusting and heartbreaking. The amount of kids cheering when the Pride flag gets cut down is sickening. Embarrassing moment for Utahns and Ridgeline High School. Be better. 🏳️‍🌈🏳️‍⚧️ #ridgelinehighschool

— Jackie B (@golfgirly78) April 14, 2021

A press release from the Cache County School District stated that they were "aware of an incident" at Ridgeline High School. "Neither the school nor the school district condones the insensitive and disrespectful removal of the flag, which was done without permission," the statement read.

"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," it concluded.

Former teacher Susie Augenstein told The Salt Lake Tribune that as a member of a local LGBTQ organization in the Utah area, was fearful that the high school "hasn't created a safe environment."

"This felt like a direct message that our student body does not support or respect us," she said.

Ridgeline High School has not released a comment on the event. It is not immediately clear if the student will face disciplinary action.

In July, a gay resident in Massachusetts lost his teeth in a fight over the Pride flag he hung on his front lawn.

Pride flag
A high schooler was caught on video cutting down a school's pride flag. Alexi Rosenfeld/Getty Images