City and school officials were bracing Tuesday for a school board meeting that was expected to be volatile as pro- and anti-LGBTQ+ protesters and speakers were set to face off on issues that touch on the role of schools in teaching gender and sexuality.
The agenda for Tuesday night’s board meeting, scheduled to start at 5 p.m., includes a vote by members on recognizing June as Pride month. The meeting comes amid a simmering climate on LGBTQ+ rights that boiled over last week when protesters violently clashed at a North Hollywood elementary school over a Pride-themed assembly.
Glendale school board meetings have been attended by protesters for the last several weeks, with anti-LGBTQ+ activists criticizing district staffers’ handling of LGBTQ+ material.
Glendale police said the clashes between protesters have included shouting but no physical confrontations. The department will have a presence at Tuesday’s meeting, officials said.
A fight broke out outside Saticoy Elementary on Friday where more than 100 parents rallied against a Pride Day assembly. Last month a Pride flag belonging to a transgender teacher at the school was burned.
On Monday, the Glendale school released a statement and FAQ in response to criticisms raised by the anti-LGBTQ+ activists.
“Recently, intentional and harmful disinformation has been circulating about what is being taught in our district and the ways we serve our students,” the Glendale Unified School District said in a statement. “This includes disinformation about LGBTQIA+ curriculum, sex education, and supporting transgender and gender nonconforming youth.”
GUSD Parents Voices, a conservative online group with several social media accounts, has been calling for parents to attend Tuesday’s meeting, posting: “Join the fight against indoctrination in our schools.”
An LGBTQ+ advocacy organization, glendaleOUT, has also been urging supporters to attend Tuesday’s meeting.
“Tuesday, June 6 is an action of love and gratitude to our GUSD educators and administrators for all the work they’ve done this year on behalf of our entire Glendale community,” glendaleOUT said on Facebook.
“We really just want to keep the peace and keep it simple and keep the queer community safe and let them know that they’re loved,” said Grey James, a member of glendaleOUT.