School protesters clash with police in ugly row over LGBTQ+ teaching during Pride Month

Anti-LGBTQ+ protesters outside Glendale school in California

Protests have broken out yet again outside a school board meeting in Glendale, California over the inclusion of LGBTQ+ content in the curriculum. 

On Tuesday (20 June), police were called to a Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) board meeting in the city – just north of Los Angeles – after demonstrators gathered to protest LGBTQ+ content in schools. 

The incident comes just two weeks after three were arrested at a similar protest outside Glendale’s school board meeting, when board members reportedly discussed whether to recognise June as Pride Month. The violent protests were reportedly attended by members of the far-right extremist group the Proud Boys.

Compared with the protest in early June, Tuesday’s meeting reportedly did not have anything related to LGBTQ+ studies on its agenda for the meeting. Despite this, dozens of protesters turned up with signs bearing slogans such as “stop grooming our children” and “teach ABCs not LGBTs”. 

According to the Los Angeles Times, GUSD board President Nayiri Nahabedian reportedly called for “mutual respect” ahead of the protests, adding that the community should “see the humanity” in each other. 

“I have pleaded for mutual respect as we undertake these difficult conversations and have said, even in our disagreements, let us see the humanity in one another,” Nahabedian said. 

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“Unfortunately, what we witnessed at the last board meeting outside in the parking lot outside of the building was the predictable result of what happens when people do really the opposite.

“These things, folks, will create long-lasting divisions in our Glendale community that may never be repaired.”

During the board meeting, fired teacher Ray Shelton stood up and said: “You cannot change your gender. You can cut off your d**k and balls, you can take hormones, but it won’t make you a woman.”

He was reportedly removed from his classroom after showing a photo of four trans flags arranged to look like a swastika at a board meeting. 

Glendale school protesters is tackled to the ground by police
A Glendale school protester is tackled to the ground by police. (Credit: Getty Images)

According to the Los Angeles Times, one speaker at the board meeting named Amy said many within the Glendale community “love and support” the LGBTQ+ community.

“Despite the ridiculous rhetoric and misinformation and bigoted hate speech … we still love and support the LBGTQ community and support what you’re doing to be inclusive,” she said. 

Pro-LGBTQ+ protesters also attended the demonstration outside the school board meeting in California (David McNew/Getty Images)

“As a police department, we respect and honor the fundamental right of every individual to peacefully protest and express their opinions,” Glendale Police Department said in a statement ahead of the planned protest.

“We would also like to remind those participating in the protest or demonstration that unlawful conduct in the City of Glendale, including violence, will not be tolerated.”

The Glendale Police Department confirmed to PinkNews that no people had been arrested in relation to the protest, and that it had “brought out a passionate and boisterous crowd” but had seen no violence or injuries.