It's been a week of controversy in St. Stephen over the proposed rainbow crosswalk, and Town Council has felt the wrath of the internet.
St. Stephen Mayor Allan MacEachern says its been an eye-opening experience, "Respect, respect, respect, let's get back to that and bring it back to where we were, or at least where I thought we were. I'm very happy we come to the conclusion we did and I hope all the best for the kids because I definitely had their concerns deep, deep in my heart from day one, no matter how this turned out."
MacEachern admits, in the beginning, he wanted to protect the kids from seeing vandalism. "I just couldn't imagine them coming in and seeing it damaged, you know. I've always been that protector and the protecting I shouldn't have done. I should have just let everything happen, let it go through its process. It's been a tough ride."
MacEachern says this is clearly not just a St. Stephen issue. "From what I've seen and read [on the internet] especially later. This happened in all the other communities [whom have rainbow crosswalks], it's just our turn. Hopefully some good will come out of this little pause we had. I'm glad I saw what I saw [on the internet], or I'm not happy with what I saw, but let's please get back to where we were, and get back to this community I believe we have. I still believe we do, I do believe we are that community."
The rainbow crosswalk was approved by Council with a vote of 4-2.
SSMS Principal Bronwyn Tanner said following the vote, "We are very pleased with the outcome. Very pleased with this whole community and I'd like to very much thank the school, the entire community, the amazing students, and the staff for all of their support throughout. We know that this is going to be a great step forward and we're really excited together to be painting the crosswalk. I think this is a really strong message of inclusion for the students. I think it just supports the diversity we have in our community, and that we are all working together and that we all matter. "
Gay-Straight Alliance Facilitator Kayla Cousins says its been an exhausting week, but they got the result they were hoping for.
Another GSA facilitator, Jenna Densmore says the crosswalk will be painted very soon, they still have more fundraising to do, but the students want to be one hundred percent involved in the project.