(GLENDALE, Calif.) — A California school district meeting where administrators voted to recognize Pride month, which celebrates the LGBTQ+ community, erupted into protests outside the venue involving several hundred people, according to the Glendale Police Department.
Protesters of the Glendale Unified School District policy to recognize Pride month were met by counterprotesters in support of the district’s decision. Physical altercations broke out, according to footage captured by ABC affiliate KABC.
The district has celebrated Pride month in years past, but a recent rise in anti-LGBTQ+ political sentiment has led to growing tensions against the community.
According to the ABC affiliate KABC, the district said misinformation was spread on social media about the district’s effort to acknowledge LGBTQ+ identities.
“While most of the protest was peaceful, a small group of individuals engaged in behavior deemed unsafe and a risk to public safety,” the Glendale Police Department said in a statement.
At least three people were arrested for unlawful use of pepper spray and willfully obstructing officers in the course of their duties, police said. A dispersal order was given just after 6 p.m., according to officials.
Meeting attendees were told to shelter in place while police ordered the crowd to disperse.
Footage of the chaos captured by KABC showed protesters throwing punches and pushing one another.
The protests come just days after the Los Angeles Unified School District Board of Education also faced protests against its resolution to incorporate lessons and programs related to the LGBTQ+ community and history. Separately, a transgender teacher’s Pride flag was burned by an intruder at the North Hollywood elementary school in late May.
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