Parents who protested plans for teachers at a Southern California elementary school to hold a pride event squared off against LGBT activist counter-protesters Friday.
Police were on hand at Saticoy Elementary in Los Angeles for a scheduled assembly to mark “Pride Day” with a reading from an LGBT book that features gay and lesbian couples.
The protesters and counter-protesters held up signs reading “Stop grooming our kids” and “No more hate in our state” as police kept the two sides apart.
At Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood there’s a showdown between conservative parents protesting a Pride assembly and LGBTQ+ advocates staging a counter protest. "Stop grooming our kids" says one side, "no more hate in our state" says the other pic.twitter.com/IJx3clTwon— Clara Harter (@_ClaraHarter) June 2, 2023
Rainbow flags and umbrellas were also seen at the protest.
The stepped-up security comes after Saticoy Elementary was vandalized and an LGBT flag was burned in a reported break-in, according to officials.
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified school district told The Christian Post that parents of students of Saticoy Elementary were sent a message on May 22 informing them of a break-in that “resulted in vandalism and is being investigated as a hate-motivated incident.”
In a statement, the LAUSD spokesperson added: "Los Angeles Unified remains committed to maintaining a safe, inclusive and supportive environment for all students. We are also committed to ensuring diversity and inclusivity, in accordance with California's nondiscrimination laws, so that all students feel empowered to realize their greatest potential. This includes the recognition of the diverse communities that we serve."
District officials said the Los Angeles School Police Department will be providing additional patrols around the campus located in the North Hollywood area “out of an abundance of caution.”
Police tweeted: “LAPD is at Saticoy Elementary School this morning. We are here to support our LAUSD partners and facilitate a peaceful and lawful exercise of constitutional rights.”
A photo shared with the Daily News showed a large “transgender/intersex” version of the LGBT rainbow flag hanging outside a classroom at the school. It’s unclear whether that flag was the one that was vandalized.
The teacher who hung the flag identifies as trans, according to the Los Angeles Times.
Teachers were expected to read a copy of The Great Big Book of Families by Mary Hoffman as part of the pride event. The picture book includes depictions of same-sex couples among a variety of families from various religious and ethnic backgrounds.
An Instagram page — which has since been deleted — first announced plans to protest the event and called on parents to keep their children home from school on Friday.
The group has denied any involvement with the vandalism.