California’s GLENDALE — A sizable gathering of protesters and activists gathered once more for the board’s final meeting of the year two weeks after rallies in Glendale, California, descended into violence over the school district’s LGBTQ+ resolution.
The group started assembling outside the Glendale Unified School District headquarters on Jackson Street well before the meeting’s scheduled start time, even though there were no LGBTQ+-related topics on the agenda on Tuesday night.
The mob assembling in the parking area with many individuals waving signs was seen in footage from AIR7 HD. One person was detained, according to police, however, specifics of the arrest were not immediately made public.
Even though there were times when the chanting got louder, police in riot gear helped keep conservative groups and pro-LGBTQ+ protesters in check to prevent clashes.
The Glendale Unified School District Board of Education convened for the first time today since the unrest that broke out outside its June 6 meeting, during which the board declared June to be Pride Month.
At the beginning of the meeting, President Nayiri Nahabedian tried to calm down the crowd by mentioning several recent events.
“Angry rhetoric has been ratcheted up and some things have been said and done that are simply not OK and they really must stop,” she said.
“Accusatory language, personal attacks, mining people’s social media to publicize deeply personal situations, vandalizing cars, racial and ethnic slurs, homophobic, transphobic slurs and intentional misrepresentation of what’s happening in our schools. These things will create long lasting divisions in our Glendale community that may never be repaired. Deep divisions that we should wonder how to come back from.”
Although everyone has the right to their own ideas, she stated that “no one has a right to threaten, bully, harass another person.”
ABC7 Eyewitness News shared a tweet about Two weeks after demonstrations in Glendale turned violent over the school district’s LGBTQ+ resolution:
Two weeks after demonstrations in Glendale turned violent over the school district’s LGBTQ+ resolution, a large group of protesters and activists rallied once again for the board’s final meeting of the year. https://t.co/qDu1T8VLKV pic.twitter.com/vcGSy2q2df
— ABC7 Eyewitness News (@ABC7) June 21, 2023
“Absolutely no one has a right to incite violence and I’m asking everyone in our community and everyone attending these board meetings to deescalate the angry rhetoric and violent behavior,” Nahabedian says.
After 38 years in public education, GUSD Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian announced her retirement later in the meeting. She will step down from her position on June 30.
“It has been an honor and a privilege to serve the students, families, and employees of Glendale Unified School District for the past four years, “ Ekchian stated in a public statement on Tuesday night.
“Together, we successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic, improved health and wellness for students and employees, and expanded dynamic learning opportunities for every child. I know that our Board of Education, school and district leadership, educators, and staff will continue the transformative work being done throughout the district and maintain a steadfast focus on preparing all students for success in college, career, and life.”
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According to protesters who gathered at recent meetings, parents’ rights are being violated by the state’s curriculum and the GUSD’s policy regarding LGBTQ+ problems.
Some parents believed that certain subjects shouldn’t be brought up with children so young.
“This is about protecting the children. That’s it,” stated Elsa Aldeguer, a protester, in an interview with ABC7 on Tuesday as the meeting was going on.
“Adults can do whatever they want, but the children; they need somebody to protect them. They’re not ready to make the right choices at that time, especially when it comes down to sex.”
LGBTQ+ advocates, however, disagree.
“I’m a supporter of kids, however they come, “ a parent, who only wanted to be known as Megan, stated. “I’m not OK with these groups coming to our community and getting involved in our schools. Every kid has a right to be themselves in school.”
Public comment is on the agenda for Tuesday, after which the board will go into a closed session before reconvening in public at 8 p.m.
Adoption of the district’s 2023–24 budget is on the agenda.
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