The Virginia Tech campus has been rocked by a series of anti-LGBTQ attacks in recent weeks.
Cynthia Silva of NBC News reported that “for the third time in two weeks, a rainbow Pride flag was stolen from outside a religious center on the Virginia Tech campus.”
During the previous attacks, the flag was simply stolen, but the severity of the hate appears to be increasing.
“This time, the LGBTQ symbol was replaced by two Confederate flags — one in front of the [Wesley Center], where the previous flag stood, and another in the back,” Silva reported.
While LGBTQ students at Virginia Tech are rightly nervous and fearful following the attack, school administrators are outraged by the news.
In an interview with NBC News, Bret Gresham, the campus minister who runs the Wesley Center, said students are “hurt, saddened and scared” by the recent attack, and replacing the Pride Flag with Confederate ones was a clear “escalation.”
“My number one concern is the students and making sure they feel they have a safe environment to come, to live out their faith and be affirmed in who they are,” he said.
The incident has been reported to the Blacksburg Police Department, which is investigating it as a case of larceny within their criminal investigations unit.
In the meantime, Gresham has also posted news of the incident on social media, saying he hopes someone will come forward with additional information on who has been causing the attacks on the school’s LGBTQ community.
“This hate crime goes against all that we believe,” Gresham said in his Facebook post. “We want our LGBTQ+ community to know that we will always love, support and embrace you with open arms.”