Parents of children who attend Saticoy Elementary School in North Hollywood, California, protested outside of the school Friday morning after members of the school administration announced it would hold an event commemorating “Pride Month” for its young enrollees.
Parents gathered outside the school at 8:00 a.m. to “protest against Pride Day assembly, an inappropriate topic for our kids,” according to the Instagram account Saticoy Elementary Parents.
Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) officers were on the scene to “facilitate a peaceful and lawful exercise of constitutional rights,” an LAPD account 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.
Media staging at Ethel Avenue and Arminta Street. pic.twitter.com/X3iwDUmO1n
— LAPD PIO (@LAPDPIO) June 2, 2023
As KTLA reported:
The controversy began with an announcement that for Pride month, teachers at Saticoy Elementary would read students Mary Hoffman’s book “The Great Big Book of Families,” which Goodreads called “a celebration of the diverse fabric of kith and kin the world over.”
Some protesters marched outside the school wearing shirts and holding banners that read, “leave our kids alone.”
Others held signs with slogans like “no to sexualizing our kids,” “no pride in grooming,” “parental choice matters,” and “our protest is against [Los Angeles Unified School District].”
However, counter-protesters showed up on the scene to support the “LGBTQIAAP2S+” community. Helicopter footage showed the protesters and counter-protesters get into a physical altercation at one point, with the parties punching at each other. Ultimately, LAPD officers stepped in and separated the groups.
NOW: Parents in North Hollywood are protesting a Pride month assembly being held at an elementary school.
— 1776 Project PAC (@1776ProjectPac) June 2, 2023
Classes remained in session throughout the day while the protest occurred outside.
Jack Satamian, one parent with two children at Saticoy Elementary, takes issue with the school teaching his children about “any kind of sexual preferences.”
I didn’t bring them into this world for a teacher to explain to them what is gay — or what two men or two women do — some certain things should be left to the parents to decide whether they want their kids to be exposed to it or not — at least at a certain age.
I am not against the gay community. Everybody choosing their own hat, what they want to do, but I do have a problem with them trying to bring it into an elementary school.
However, at least one school board member disagreed with Satamian and other protesters.
“It’s a few pages just talking about the different types of families that exist,” Los Angeles School Board Member Kelly Gonez said. “I don’t think that there’s any credibility to any allegations that this would be inappropriate for students.”
A Los Angeles Unified School District spokesperson told ABC 7 Eyewitness News its schools “regularly discuss the diversity of the families that we serve and the importance of inclusion.”
“This remains an active discussion with our school communities and we remain committed to continuing to engage with families about this important topic,” the spokesperson said. “Families are always encouraged to discuss important topics with their children and families may also contact their schools for more information about any school programs or activities.”