GLENDALE, Calif. (Glendale News-Press) — Glendale Unified School Board of Education (GUSD) members urged decency and respect among meeting attendees and the community at large at the April 18 school board meeting as public speakers crowded the board room to speak on issues regarding gender support plans or the management of files for transgender students.
In the same meeting that saw the board approve resolutions titled “Holocaust Remembrance Day” and “Remembering the Armenian Genocide and Reaffirming a Better World,” a GUSD 5th-grade teacher held up a swastika sign arranged using four transgender flags and another person held a sign calling for the assistant superintendent to leave her position. Counterprotesters held signs that read “No room for hate.”
Glendale Police Department officers were also present, prepared to keep the decorum and escort public speakers who would not leave the dais after their allotted time ended back to their seats or out of the room. After the meeting, police officers were available to accompany some GUSD board members and administrators to their vehicles safely after they had received threatening emails.
Toward the end of an otherwise, routine board meeting that reviewed a textbook change, issued accolades and announced school events, board members reflected on the public speaker comments and urged people to understand the facts when it comes to gender policy — standards set by the California Department of Education.
“It really breaks my heart when I see the audience that I saw earlier today, because the intent that we have as a community is to bring our kids into an environment in which they can learn without hesitation, without pressure, without the fear of not being accepted, of who they are,” said a visibly upset Superintendent Vivian Ekchian.