As a concerned GUSD parent, I applaud the unwavering commitment of our school board, educators, and teachers union in their dedication to safeguarding the rights and well-being of LGBTQ+ families. Their adherence to the law in ensuring access and protection for all students is commendable, and I hope we continue to stand united in these efforts.
Nevertheless, there is work to be done.
This week, a Glendale City Councilmember — Ara Najarian — appeared in a propaganda video that has since been banned on YouTube. In this video, he and GUSD school board candidate Aneta Krpekyan share disinformation about GUSD curriculum that is designed to stoke fear and resentment. We learned at the Oct. 10 GUSD Board meeting that Najarian has not once directly asked the School Board for facts.
Many in our community have already experienced threats, harassment and in-person violence incited at public meetings and on various social media platforms.
The motivations behind these actions, whether rooted in religious beliefs or manipulated by false information, are fostering an environment of chaos, hate and disinformation, at the expense of vulnerable youth. All of this appears to serve the long-standing agenda to defund and dismantle public education, a project decades in the making.
Organizations such as the California Policy Center, PERK, and the California Family Council actively support local political candidates, provide training and legal backing for school board campaigns, and disseminate a constant stream of propaganda through various media channels. Their underlying objective is crystal clear: the privatization of public education via a national voucher system.
These organizations amplify their divisive and hateful rhetoric in support of unpopular voucher programs, which, history has shown, have failed wherever they were implemented. Supporters of a voucher rebrand, referred to as the “CEO Act,” are linked to these groups. Previous iterations of this proposition have faced multiple failures in the state legislature, and current estimates suggest that if enacted, they would cost the state an additional $4-$7 billion in funding.
Public school supporters like me will continue to expose the ulterior motives of these groups, which seek to exploit prejudice for their own enrichment while undermining our collective, inclusive, and democratic educational institutions.
First published in the October 14 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.