One person injured as rival groups clash at protest over elementary school Pride assembly | US | News

At least one person is reported to have been injured when violence broke out at a protest against a planned Pride assembly at a Los Angeles elementary school yesterday (Friday, June 2).

Protesters and counter-protesters were seen clashing in front of police outside Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood and aerial footage showed several punches being thrown in chaotic scenes.

Parents, mainly from the Armenian community, had launched a campaign against the planned assembly weeks ago, saying it was “inappropriate”.

Earlier this week, a hate crime investigation was launched after a Pride flag displayed in a transgender teacher’s classroom was burned by an intruder.

Yesterday, protesters, some wearing shirts that read “Leave Our Kids Alone,” carried signs featuring the same phrase and others, including “No Sexualizing Our Kids,” “Our Protest Is Against LAUSD,” and “Parental Choice Matters.”

On the other side of the street, counter-protesters waved Pride flags and played music.

According to a Twitter user at the scene, one man was seen lying unresponsive on the ground as protesters yelled at him. “He has to suffer!” a protester with a “Leave our Kids Alone” shirt is heard saying.

Officers were on the scene to ‘facilitate a peaceful and lawful exercise of constitutional rights,’ the LAPD said on Twitter.

Parents set up an Instagram account on May 16 called ‘saticoyelementaryparents’ to protest against the school’s planned Pride assembly where teachers were to read a Mary Hoffman book called The Great Big Book of Families.

The text talks about diversity and “all kinds of families” including those with LGBTQ+ parents.

School district officials said parents could request that their children not attend the program.

“There is no sex education specific to the book that’s being read today,” Los Angeles Unified School District Superintendent Alberto Carvalho said yesterday outside the school. “The book portrays a reality that is not only common, but is real to our kids.

“I think there’s fairly good awareness as to what the book represents (and) what the book does not represent. But people today easily pick political sides and decide to stick to the political sides, while to a certain extent ignoring the reality and the truth.”

Days after the protesters’ Instagram account was created, various parents took their children out of a class which was being taught by a transgender substitute teacher, three school sources said.

The teacher is said to have worked at the school without any problems before the backlash over the Pride event.

“It was awful,” a staff member said. “I get that people have freedom of speech and the ability to believe and have their own opinions, but when it directly results in affecting the livelihood of another person, it’s unconscionable.”

Meanwhile, the teacher whose flag was burned, a transgender man who is a fulltime teacher at Saticoy, has been taken out of the school for his own safety, a source who wanted to remain anonymous said.

His image was taken down from the school’s website but photos of him before and after his transition was posted on the Instagram pags used by parents against the Pride assembly.

“Here’s the special ed/3rd grade trans teacher (first pic as female, later male) at Saticoy Elementary who has made it a point to send message to [Armenian] kids about [Pride],” the post read.

“He has now decided to stir things up and make his private sexual business our kids,” one person commented.


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