Some Students at Albion College Burn Gay Flag

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This news from Albion College in Michigan:

A complaint was filed after the incident and yesterday Albion College president Donna Randall released a statement that said that “appropriate action” has been taken against the students.

Three students were identified from the incident. One of three students identified, Salaina Catalano, came forward and apologized to Break the Silence — a student organization promoting the rights and awareness of lesbians, bisexuals and gays. Catalano said that she witnessed the flag burning but did not partake in it.

“I’m sorry and I’m using this to make up for the fact I didn’t stand up then” she said, adding that the students involved were “very intimidating and manipulative people.”

Randall declined to provide further details, saying the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act prevented her from disclosing what action was taken.

See story here.

The President of Albion issued this statement:

On October 19, 2010, a student contacted an Albion College staff member to anonymously complain that other students had allegedly burned a Gay Pride Flag on school property. In response to that complaint, Campus Safety promptly initiated an investigation. The investigation was complicated by requests for confidentiality from those who provided information, but Campus Safety was ultimately able to identify the students involved.

Campus Safety’s investigation revealed that the students involved found the flag in a trash can outside of Baldwin Hall and decided to burn it behind Wesley Hall. The only persons present when the flag was burned were the students involved, and the College is not aware of any other individuals who saw the flag being burned.

The College has taken the situation very seriously and followed its established policies and procedures in investigating the situation and determining what should be done. Appropriate action has been taken to address the conduct of the students involved. Privacy laws (the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act) prohibit me from providing information about the actions taken against those individuals.

I want to make it very clear that the College condemns harassment of any member of our College community. I personally find such behavior reprehensible and offensive. I feel confident that those involved will not participate in such acts in the future. We remain fully committed to protecting the rights of all members of the campus community and sustaining a campus environment that is welcoming to all persons.

May every justice-loving Albion college student and administrator display the gay flag on their doors or in their windows.

-Bridget Crawford

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