Queen Mary students paint crosswalk for Pride Month

On Tuesday morning students and staff from Queen Mary Community School painted a rainbow crosswalk across 15th Street for Pride Month in June. /Michael Oleksyn/Daily Herald

Students at Queen Mary Community School started their Pride Month off in a symbolic way.

The school painted a crosswalk in front of their building in Pride rainbow colours.

Grade 8 teacher Adrienne Schenk brought the initiative over to Queen Mary from Carlton Comprehensive High School where the first Rainbow crosswalk for Pride was painted in 2018.

“That was the first time that a rainbow crosswalk was done in the city of Prince Albert and it’s something that has been done around the world as a symbol of Pride and diversity for the queer community. So now that I am teaching at Queen Mary, this is my first year here. It is something that we feel as a school community that we need to continue to celebrate,” Schenk said.

Students who took part were from Grade 6 and Grade 8 and attended a virtual provincial GSA (Gay Straight Alliance) Summit in March.

The painting of the crosswalk was about teaching diversity, equality and inclusion not only to the students but to everyone.

“This being my first year at Queen Mary it truly is about community and just loving and accepting everyone for who they are and what background, what colour, we love everyone for who they truly are. And the rainbow crosswalk truly does exhibit that,”

The crosswalk is also located on 15th Street so it will be very visible.

Student Carmon BearRay painted the words QM Pride at the end of the crosswalk across from the school.

“For me personally it feels so good to be a part of that project and to paint Pride across our QM cross walk… it’s important to me because I am a part of that pride myself and just to be there is so great and memorable,” BearRay said.

The experience was beneficial for all of the students.

“It means a lot to me to be a part of the cross walk because I support the LGBTQ+ community and it’s important to be doing this because there are a lot of people that aren’t comfortable coming out but them seeing this will make them feel more welcoming and make them feel proud to be who they really are,” Terese Randhile said.

Schenk was thankful for all of the support she received for the initiative.

“It’s absolutely wonderful to have the support and people coming out and understanding how important this is to us and to students. And bottom line this is for the kids so they understand this is a safe space to be and we accept them for who they are,” she said.

Showing support from Saskatchewan Rivers School Division administration was superintendent Tom Michaud. City Councillors Dawn Kilmer and Charlene Miller were there and lent a hand as well.

Kilmer was Principal of Carlton when Schenk taught at and attended the school.

“I’m just happy to have the opportunity to do this again, have the support of the city and councillor Charlene Miller for bringing this motion forward on behalf of the school and Dulux paints for donating the paint again for this and the city for the support on traffic control,” Schenk said

City council unanimously approved the painting of the crosswalk at their regular meeting on May 25.