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Saticoy Elementary School Pride Assembly Protest Erupts in Violence | #schoolsaftey

Heated clashes between protesters angry about a Pride assembly at a North Hollywood school and LGBT supporters left one man beaten to the ground and many questioning why police didn’t do more to keep the peace.

Last month, a group of Saticoy Elementary School parents set up an Instagram account to protest a planned Gay Pride and Rainbow Day assembly on June 2—the beginning of Pride month.

Tensions escalated over the weekend of May 22 when an unknown assailant broke into the school and burned a small LGBT pride flag that a Saticoy teacher had placed in a flower pot.

Local LGBT groups, faith groups and allies held a vigil outside the school Friday morning while the assembly took place inside. They waved rainbow flags and umbrellas. One attendee held a sign reading “I Hope U Know How Loved U Are.”

On the other side, dozens of protestors angry about the Pride assembly, wore white shirts that read “Leave Our Kids Alone,” and held signs saying “Stop Grooming Our Kids.”

Sean Beckner-Carmitchel, a freelance videographer who was covering the protests, told The Daily Beast he heard protesters on the anti-Pride side repeatedly using anti-Semitic and anti-gay slurs.

He said around 9.20 a.m. many of the pro-Pride protestors left and police stopped separating the two groups, who began to intermingle.

That’s when violence broke out with multiple videos showing anti-Pride protestors beating a man, who then became unresponsive and was removed by police, according to Beckner-Carmitchel. It is unclear exactly what preceded the attack.

“He has to suffer!” a woman wearing a “Leave Our Kids Alone” t-shirt yelled at the unconscious man, according to video of the event

“There are fucking children here. Stop!” another anti-Pride demonstrator shouted.

The Saticoy Elementary Parents group did not respond to a request for comment about the violence.

“The pro-Pride folks were very upset. You could tell they felt as though the policing tactics kind of led to that violence,” Beckner-Carmitchel said.

The Pride assembly was meant to highlight “diversity,” the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) told KTLA.

Teachers planned to read Mary Hoffman’s book “The Great Big Book of Families,” which includes depictions of gay parents and non-traditional families, as well as adoption, foster parenting, and blended families.

Reverend Pat Langlois, the pastor of MCC United Church of Christ in the Valley, who attended the pro-Pride vigil outside Saticoy, said the anger was palpable.

“I haven’t been around that vitriolic hatred in a really, really long time. I’ll be honest, at one point, I was scared. And I’ve been in a ton of protests,” she said.

“What I am really highly concerned about is this trend that is going on, and it’s not just in Florida, it’s in California. It’s down the street from my church,” Langlois told The Daily Beast, “The people who are speaking up are claiming partly that their stance is based upon their religious understanding. That’s fine. My religious understanding is that their family and my family are equal, and are all children of God. So for anyone to demonize or exclude or erase my child’s family is not ok.”

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