LGBTQ+ Pride flag burned at LA school and trans teacher removed over ‘safety concerns’

A family has been ordered by Bristol Council to take down their Pride Flag canopy.

A trans teacher has been removed from a Los Angeles school after his Pride flag was set ablaze in a “possible hate crime”, following parents calling for a boycott of the elementary school’s Pride assembly.

Parents of children attending Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood created an Instagram page on 16 May to oppose the school’s LGBTQ+ Pride activities on 2 June, where teachers will read from Mary Hoffman’s inclusive children’s book, The Great Big Book of Families.

On 22 May, a full-time trans teacher at the school discovered a Pride flag displayed in a flower pot outside of his classroom had been burnt and destroyed, with police investigating the vandalism as a possible hate crime, the Los Angeles Times reported.

Deputy chief Alan Hamilton of the Valley Bureau said: “The investigation is ongoing. It is a vandalism hate crime. The hate crime is still significant but it is a misdemeanor.” 

On Thursday (1 June), the Instagram account Saticoy Elementary Parents posted a story to their page, denying involvement in the burning of the flag. 

Saticoy Elementary Parents have denied any participation in the burning of the flag.

A source, who wished to remain anonymous, told the Los Angeles Times that following the incident, the trans teacher has been removed by the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) amid confirms for his safety. 

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In a bid to further protect the teacher, the school also removed the his image from its website.

In a message to parents, the school stated: “We experienced a break-in over the weekend at Saticoy Elementary that resulted in vandalism and is being investigated as a hate-motivated incident.” 

Congressman Brad Sherman, US representative for California’s 32nd congressional district, denounced the attack and those who participated in it.

Sherman said: “Such intolerance should have no place in our society – especially in our children’s schools. 

“I’m troubled by this news and I denounce those who contribute to anti-LGBTQ+ hatred and bigotry.”

The attacks on LGBTQ+ inclusivity at Saticoy Elementary School school come as Republican lawmakers legislate to prevent LGBTQ+ topics being discussed in schools across the US. 

In at least 15 states, including Oregon, Iowa and Alaska, new laws which are being considered aim to stifle LGBTQ+ discussions in schools. 

PinkNews has contacted LAUSD for comment.

Anyone who has witnessed or experienced a hate crime is urged to call the police on 101, Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111 or visit theTrue Vision website. In an emergency, always dial 999.