Last week, the Glendale Unified School District meeting ended in protests and violence as administrators voted to recognize LGBTQ Pride Month.

Pride Month, typically acknowledged in June, is a commemoration of LGBTQ history and pride. It is celebrated worldwide, with some countries holding festivities in other months.

Protesters of the California administration’s decision to recognize Pride Month were met by others in support of the ruling. Physical altercations were reported, and at least three people were arrested for the unlawful use of pepper spray and the attempt to obstruct police officers from performing their duties.

Meeting attendees were told to shelter in place as they waited for the protest to calm down.

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The district has celebrated Pride Month in the past but took special consideration this year due to the recent rise in anti-LGBTQ+ political rhetoric and legislation. The district community has felt the effects of the growing tensions.

The protest followed one that happened at a Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education meeting, in which administrators pledged to encourage lessons and programs related to the health, wellness and history of the LGBTQ  community.

Many conservatives believe that children should not be exposed to LGBTQ  teachings in high school.

In 2022, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) signed the so-called “Don’t Say Gay” bill, which “prohibits classroom discussion about sexual orientation or gender identity in certain grade levels or in a specified manner.” The bill has been highly polarizing and has sparked outrage from government officials and human rights groups.

California is one of many blue states considered LGBTQ-friendly, but there is still evidence of polarization among residents and officials. In late May, an instance was reported that a transgender teacher’s Pride flag was burned by a trespasser at North Hollywood elementary school.

Despite pushback, administrators of the Glendale Unified School District are moving forward with their decision to celebrate Pride Month.

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