HomeBlocksFront-GridFinal School Board Meeting Is Met With Protest

Final School Board Meeting Is Met With Protest

By City News Service

Police arrested one person at Glendale Unified School District’s final Board of Education meeting of the year on Tuesday, which drew large groups of protesters and advocates of the LGBTQ+ community.
Details of the arrest were not disclosed by the Glendale Police Department as of the News-Press’s deadline on Friday.
This meeting came two weeks after the Board passed a motion to recognize June as Pride Month, and sparked protests that turned violent and led to at least three arrests.
Even though there were no LGBTQ+ agenda items on the Board’s calendar this week, more than 100 protesters and supporters showed up outside the meeting, many holding signs and shouting chants.
Board President Nayiri Nahabedian started the meeting by attempting to calm the protesters, asking them not to repeat the attacks and threats from the meeting on June 6.
“Angry rhetoric has been ratcheted up and some things have been said and done that are simply not okay and they really must stop,” Nahabedian 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.”
She added that “no one has a right to threaten, bully or harass another person.”
Prior to the meeting, a group of LGBTQ+ advocates called Queer Nation L.A. urged supporters to turn out in force at the GUSD Board meeting “to outnumber the fascists trying to eradicate trans and queer lives from public education in the U.S. and beyond.”
The group’s posts suggested that an “allied group of GUSD parents” will attend the meeting to speak in support of LGBTQ+ kids, and “we additionally want to support and protect them through our presence there.”
A supporter of the LGBTQ+ community, who declined to give her name, spoke to the News-Press comparing the size of the crowd from this week’s meeting to the meeting on June 6.
“This week, there’s more from their side and less from our side,” she said. “People over there aren’t worried about violence because it’s their side who incites it.”
The GPD issued a statement before the meeting saying the agency is “fully prepared and equipped to safeguard and protect our community, including against any agitators desiring to utilize this planned protest as an opportunity to cause violence and disturbances.
“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,” police said. “Any groups or individuals wishing to engage in violence or criminal activity will be swiftly identified and arrested by the Glendale Police Department.”

—Kennedy Zak contributed to this report.

First published in the June 24 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.

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