A protest outside a Glendale Unified School Board meeting regarding students’ right to choose their pronouns took a chaotic turn on Tuesday evening. Multiple groups gathered outside the school board building, advocating for and against pronoun choices. The tensions escalated to physical altercations, leading police to intervene and ask the school board to go into recess.
After the chaotic fights, the crowds were ordered to disperse as the police declared an unlawful assembly. The school board was voting on reconsidering Pride curriculum and LGBTQ+ issues that have been in place since 2019. The district follows California law, which grants every person on campus the right to be referred to by their preferred pronouns. Sexual health education begins in the 5th grade.
Parents and community members with differing viewpoints attended the protest. While some argued against asking young children about their sexual identification, others emphasized the importance of inclusivity and supporting all children.
The school board ultimately voted unanimously to declare June as Pride Month and proceed with the curriculum. Governor Newsom released a statement condemning the violence and emphasizing California’s commitment to pluralism and diversity.
Several protesters involved in Tuesday night’s demonstration were also present at an LGBTQ+ protest held at Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood the previous week. Three people were arrested, including one individual for allegedly using pepper spray.
Glendale Police Chief Manuel Cid praised the professionalism and swift action of the Glendale Police Department, expressing pride in their handling of the tense situation. The police department will investigate acts of violence and bring those responsible to justice.
In Los Angeles, the LAUSD board unanimously approved a resolution incorporating LGBTQ+ concepts into the curriculum and formally recognizing June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month. In Temecula, teachers protested the exclusion of certain textbooks from the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s curriculum, particularly a social studies textbook proposed for the fourth-grade curriculum.