Vivian Chow and Chip Yost
Violence erupted between a parental rights group and LGBTQ+ supporters over transgender notification policies at Los Angeles public schools on Tuesday.
The two groups clashed outside the L.A. Unified School District headquarters downtown during a demonstration. As the gathering turned violent, police officers were called to the scene.
Skirmish lines were set up between the dueling groups and multiple people were taken into custody for “becoming violent, pushing officers, and throwing items,” police said.
A dispersal order was issued around 12 p.m., but the groups refused to leave, LAPD said. Three people were arrested at the scene, identified as:
– Linda Daitsman, 46, from Los Angeles
– Robert Maxie, 23, from Los Angeles
– Gordon Shiva, 49, from Beverly
All three are being held on $5,000 bail.
The parental rights group is calling for the adoption of a policy that would require schools to notify parents if their child identifies as a gender other than their biological sex or gender listed on their birth certificate and documents.
Supporters of the policy believe it’s a parent’s right to be notified of information involving their child, while critics believe the move could open up discrimination or potentially put students in a harmful situation.
The move would follow similar measures adopted by other Southern California school districts such as Chino Valley and Murrieta. On Aug. 17, the Orange Unified School District also held a board meeting to discuss a similar policy.
“We want, in law, a parental notification measure to let us in on how our child is being raised,” said Ben Richards, a parental rights supporter. “But the fact of the matter is, we have people fighting us against it because they want to hide things from parents.”
Things that could potentially activate the notification in other districts’ policies include students being asked to be referred to a different name, using bathrooms and changing facilities that do not align with their listed gender or accessing gender-specific school activities or programs.
This policy and similar bans on LGBTQ+ issues in SoCal schools have been met with opposition and criticism from state lawmakers and officials including Governor Gavin Newsom, California Attorney General Rob Bonta, State Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tony Thurmond, and more.
“If that kid is fearful, if that kid is expressed concerns that by saying this type of new information to their parents or family members puts them in danger, now we got a situation where the teacher is in a position of possibly harming the child,” said Burbank Mayor, Konstantine Anthony.
No statement was issued from LAUSD yet. Roads in the area were blocked for hours during the demonstration, but have since reopened.