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Fighting Erupts Outside California School Board Meeting Over Pride Month

Fighting Erupts Outside California School Board Meeting Over Pride Month

Protests outside of Glendale Unified School District
Keith Birmingham/MediaNews Group/Pasadena Star-News via Getty Images

Three people were arrested in the incident, according to Glendale police.


Far-right protestors and LGBTQ+ rights demonstrators outside a school board meeting in Glendale, Calif., started brawling Tuesday evening as the school board discussed LGBTQ+ topics in schools, which resulted in three people being arrested.

The Glendale Unified School District was reportedly scheduled to vote on recognizing June as Pride Month.

About 200 people showed up outside the district’s office to protest what some said was including gender and sexuality studies in the classroom. Administrators told local media that many of the demonstrators didn’t seem to have students in the district.

Violence broke out before 6:00 p.m. local time with police attempting to break up the crowd. The school board meeting was paused as a shelter-in-place order was given.

In one video of the fighting seen more than 1.5 million times, a violent melee is shown with people punching each other as police officers attempt to break up the scuffle. The user said anti-LGBTQ+ protestors attacked pro-LGBTQ+ demonstrators.

Another video shows police standing around the district office in riot gear, cordoning off the area.

Three people were arrested in the incident, according to Glendale police. They were arrested for various charges including unlawful use of pepper spray and willfully obstructing police officers.

“Several hundred protesters gathered, many waving the American flags and LGBTQ+ Pride flags, outside the scheduled GUSD Board Meeting,” a police press release said. “The opposing sides represented parents who oppose GUSD policies in support of LGBTQ+ classroom curriculum. Both sides took to social media to rally their supporters to convene at GUSD Headquarters ahead of the last Board meeting of the school year.”

Authorities added that after they could not de-escalate the crowd, they ordered the crowd to disperse and called for backup.

The disruption caused the meeting to be stopped while still hearing public comments. The board was to reconvene to vote on the Pride Month resolution, according to the Los Angeles Times.

The district posted on its Facebook page on Tuesday that there had been disinformation about its curriculum when it comes to LGBTQ+ topics.

“Recently, intentional and harmful disinformation has been circulating about what is being taught in our district and the ways we serve our students. This includes disinformation about LGBTQIA+ curriculum, sex education, and supporting transgender and gender non-conforming youth,” the district wrote. It added that members of the school board and the superintendent had met with parents and guardians to discuss the disinformation being spread.

In a statement shared with The Advocate, Glendale Unified School District Superintendent Vivian Ekchian, said, “In Glendale Unified, we are committed to providing a safe, inclusive environment where every child can learn and thrive. We follow all laws and policies established by the California legislature and Department of Education. 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.”

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