Clashing protests over gender ideology in a California school led to three arrests Tuesday while the district held a vote on marking “Pride Month.”
(Video: KTLA 5)
For the fifth consecutive year, members of the Glendale Unified School District in Los Angeles County had gathered to vote on the “pride” issue prompting many to voice their concerns over the curriculum during public comment. Outside, crowds estimated around 200 protesters from both sides of the debate made their stances heard as tensions boiled.
With barricades set up by the roughly 50 police officers on the scene, according to CBS News, parents and concerned community members wearing T-shirts that read “Leave Our Kids Alone” were met with signs from alphabet activists that proclaimed “Trans and Queer Inclusive Classrooms Save Lives.”
Despite the efforts of the police, conflict ensued and circulating videos showed fists flying and people getting tackled to the ground before three individuals were reportedly arrested, slapped with charges that included willfully obstructing officer and unlawful use of pepper spray.
#BREAKING: The protest outside the Glendale Unified School Board meeting has turned violent, with protesters clashing. @GlendalePD trying to regain control now. @RoadSageLA overhead in #SKYCAL. @kcalnews pic.twitter.com/g0YWp1KVWI
— Mike Rogers (@MikeRogersTV) June 7, 2023
VIDEO: Glendale police arrest a protester outside the Glendale Unified School District board meeting where LGBTQ Pride Month is set to be discussed. The inclusion of LGBT subjects in schools has become a national flashpoint and drawn protests like the one seen tonight. pic.twitter.com/zNpkURWAFC
— Jeremy Childs (@Jeremy_Childs) June 7, 2023
Independent journalist Andy Ngô reported that among the protesters were members of Antifa and that the clash was centered around those leftist protesters and Armenian-Americans who were among “Many parents of immigrant background [that] disapprove of the schools celebrating pride events.”
Glendale (CA) police rush in and save #Antifa & far-left protesters during a fight against Armenian-Americans outside a school board meeting. Many parents of immigrant background disapprove of the schools celebrating pride events. pic.twitter.com/i1L2P1aBxt
— Andy Ngô ️ (@MrAndyNgo) June 7, 2023
Around 6.m. an unlawful assembly was declared and police ordered the crowd to disperse. Speaking with those who had gathered outside, KTLA 5 captured the sentiments on the scene as parent Any Torosyan said, “Bringing in curriculum for K-6 on gender ideology, that is what we’re against.”
Another expressed, “We were talking about children. They are not ready for such choices. It confuses them and ultimately these are things that parents should decide.”
Meanwhile, from the rainbow side of the dispute, activist Maebe Putlo argued, “They should be taught because so many of them already at 3 years old know who they are and they need to know the options they have in life. To close them off, to shut down the questions that they already have in their minds. I wish there were books out there that I could turn to, mentors out there I could turn to or the facilities out there I could turn to because I grew up feeling totally alone.”
According to police, a number of the protesters on scene had been part of a clash that occurred outside the Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood on Friday after someone had allegedly entered the school in May and burned a “Pride Flag.”
— Conservative News (@BIZPACReview) June 7, 2023
Holding the position that gender ideology in the curriculum was not a part of the board’s agenda, district superintendent Vivian Ekchian released a prepared statement that said in part, “In Glendale Unified, we are committed to providing a safe inclusive environment where every child can learn and thrive…We know that kids do better when their parents are involved in their education. We work with parents as partners and encourage all parents and other caregivers to be inquisitive and engaged with what is going on in our school community…Let’s continue to work together, commit to having difficult conversations, ask questions, and maintain a civil discourse for the benefit of all students.”
Ekchian herself argued, “Our primary focus in our school district is to be inclusive. Every student matters, every family member matters. We do follow state laws and California Department of Education guidelines.”
In defending the school’s position, the superintendent included a fact sheet that detailed how the school district withholds information from parents by recommending “schools keep records that reflect a transgender student’s birth name and assigned sex…apart from the student’s school records,” prohibits parents from opting their children out of curriculum pertaining to LGBT-etc. individuals outside of health and human development, and expects students “uncomfortable with a transgender student using the same sex-segregated restroom or locker room” to seek counseling.
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