As a GUSD parent and Glendale resident, I’ve been upset to witness a small group of apparent anti-public school extremists causing chaos at GUSD School Board meetings and directing persistent harassment campaigns against individual teachers, administrators and members of our LGBTQ+ community.
Last Thursday, some of these same individuals, wearing now familiar “Leave Our Kids Alone” shirts, forced the closure of the San Fernando Public Library. The group blocked the entrances and surrounded a well-respected drag performer, Pickle, who was scheduled to read at a children’s story hour. Pickle and County Board of Supervisors member Lindsay Horvath had to be escorted from the premises for their safety.
Public libraries, like our public School Board meetings, are vital public spaces. While the right to gather to protest is essential, there is no right to harassment and intimidation. When protest makes public resources unavailable it veers into the territory of domestic terrorism. All people deserve equal access to our shared public spaces. Those who take issue with certain subject matters or events are free to not attend or to protest peacefully, but not to restrict others or limit the speech of those they disagree with, be it drag queens, teachers or students.
Our community cannot be a home of hate. We must all stand up for our public spaces and for the civil rights of all people, especially when it comes to our School Board elections on March 5.
First published in the November 4 print issue of the Glendale News-Press.