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Springdale's Gender Sexuality Alliance appreciative of support; says name-calling not productive

The parking lot at Indian River High is in disrepair, and council would like it to be paved. The town is willing to work with the school district and province to make that happen.
The Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at Indian River High asked Springdale council to place a rainbow crosswalk near the school. Council denied the request. - Cory Hurley

Indian River High group issues statement about rainbow crosswalk controversy

SPRINGDALE, NL — The Gender Sexuality Alliance (GSA) at Indian River High has broken its silence with respect to Springdale council’s decision to deny its request to place a rainbow crosswalk near the school.

The request to put the crosswalk on the street between the school and the stadium was defeated in a vote by a 4-3 margin at the April 9 public meeting.

“While we appreciate the support offered by the public, we feel some of the more negative comments and name-calling are not productive,” the emailed statement issued through the Newfoundland and Labrador English School District stated. “As a group, we are committed to a respectful, informed discussion for the betterment of our entire community.”

Springdale Mayor Dave Edison has said the decision was partly about beliefs and partly about why highlighting a specific cause. His concern is about setting a precedent for similar requests in the town, and the appropriate use of taxpayers’ money.

He also felt it would create division in the community rather than inclusion.

The Nor’wester article — Springdale council denies request for rainbow crosswalk from Indian River High's Gender Sexuality Alliance — has created an overwhelming response on social media, the majority criticizing council and its decision. There were some comments with respect to understanding the rationale, but it was heavily outweighed by the criticism.

The student-led organization’s statement reflected a message of solidarity and inclusion, no matter one’s beliefs.

“We enjoy our town of Springdale and have a good relationship with the mayor and town officials,” it stated. “We are all in the process of working together on this issue and are encouraged by the opportunity for further discussions.

“Thus far, those discussions have been very positive and we look forward to Monday’s council meeting, where we will have the opportunity to provide further information and education to members on the concept of a rainbow crosswalk.”

Council has agreed to revisit the request at Monday’s public meeting. School officials, and on behalf of the students, continue to decline comment on the story. They have deferred comment until the meeting with council.

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