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LGBTQ Nation: Fight erupts as anti-LGBTQ+ parents protest outside school’s Pride assembly


A fight broke out in front of Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, California last Friday as over 100 anti-LGBTQ protestors and counterprotesters demonstrated over an optional Pride assembly.

A group called Saticoy Elementary Parents opposed the assembly and its planned reading of a children’s book featuring same-sex families, saying that “any topic that is related to LGBTQ” is “sexually explicit.” Last week, someone burned a small Pride flag outside of the school that belonged to a transgender teacher. Local police are now investigating it as a possible hate crime.

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Though police used the street to separate the two protest groups, several anti-LGBTQ+ protesters chanted slurs, and one threw water at a counterprotester and pulled off a wig, the Times reported. The protesters held signs saying, “No pride in grooming,” “Parental choice matters,” and “Leave our kids alone.” At around noon, some unidentified people threw punches. The counterprotesters left as officers showed up in riot gear. It’s unclear whether anyone was injured or arrested.

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One anti-LGBTQ+ parent said that she was tired of “propaganda,” noting that the school gave her third-grader child rainbow-colored stickers. Another parent with a trans student said anti-LGBTQ+ protesters should talk to actual gay people. She said she counter-protested to help “families who are being harassed” feel safe in their own community.

The Los Angeles Unified School District said police would increase patrols around the school in the coming days to ensure safety. The school told teachers and students to take an alternate exit after classes ended last Friday. Teachers escorted children to cars and were invited to a meeting to discuss the day’s happenings, the Times reported.

In a statement, Los Angeles City Council President Paul Krekorian called freedom of expression a constitutional right but condemned “threatening your neighbors and sowing hatred,” adding, “Whatever disagreements may arise among members of our community, violence, hate speech, and acts of vandalism directed against any group can have no place in our city.”

Volunteers from the San Fernando Valley LGBTQ Center escorted LGBTQ+ parents and their kids to the school on Friday. The center also donated a full-sized Progress Pride flag to display outside the classroom where the smaller flag was burned.

Saticoy parent and counterprotester Hector Flores, who has a six-year-old in the school, said, “As part of the LGBT community, we felt it was a direct attack toward us since we are part of this school. We needed to be heard today and present and show that we are standing with our community.”

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