A Canadian Catholic school has banned pupils from using rainbows, the symbol of the gay pride movement.

St Joseph Catholic Secondary School in Ontario apparently told students holding a June 3rd anti-homophobia event that they couldn’t use the colourful symbol.

However, clever pupils led by 16-year-old Leanne Iskander found a novel way to get their message across – by using food dyes to make cupcakes with a secret rainbow centre.

Leanne, the founder of the school’s unofficial gay-straight alliance group, told Xtra.ca: “We brought signs and posters with rainbows, and we were told that we can’t put them up.

“They said rainbows are associated with Pride. There’s so many other things that a rainbow could be. It’s ridiculous.”

Although the pupils raised $200 from their cake sale, they were banned from giving the money to an LGBT charity. Instead, Leanne said they were told to donate the funds to a Catholic homeless shelter.

No one from the school has commented.

Although the school has an unofficial gay-straight alliance, pupils were barred from setting up an official group.

In January, the local Catholic District School Board chair Alice Anne LeMay told Xtra then that the board “doesn’t allow Nazi groups either. Gay-straight alliances are banned because they are not within the teachings of the Catholic Church”.