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Students in a small Saskatchewan town had a rough start to their day when they found out their Pride flag had been burned.

The Stoughton Central School just had its flag-raising ceremony on Monday.

RCMP confirm the rainbow-coloured flag was pulled down from its pole and burned.

Mounties in the community 140 kilometres southeast of Regina are investigating.

Grade 9 student Nikita Nahbexie, the head board member of the school’s gay-straight alliance club, says students are devastated.

She says burning the Pride flag is appalling.

“It’s disgusting, because we’re trying to get kids to feel safe and that they’re accepted at this school,” she said Wednesday.

“And having this flag burned – it’s 10 steps backward.”

She and fellow GSA board member Jessica Baumgartner said they don’t know who is responsible.

“We are not aware of who saw it last. We just know that it was up, and when we got to school this morning it was on the ground,” Nahbexie said.

She said a Grade 7 student who’s out as gay was quite upset.

“She was in tears and completely hurt, because she knows kids who are in the closet, and it’s painful to her to see her flag being burned,” Nahbexie said. “That’s something she took pride in.”

June is Pride month.

Nahbexie said the flag-burning works against the intent of the school’s GSA to “raise awareness, have everyone come in to support each other and let people know they’re safe.”

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