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"My daughter was taught subjects such as 'scissoring,' which seems to be two females who decide to have sex with each other."
This article is adapted from Sunday’s Morning Wire episode. To listen to the podcast version, click here.
Problems have been brewing in a Los Angeles County school district for years now. A recent clash with Antifa over LGBT Pride policies, however, finally garnered legacy media headlines.
The Daily Wire spoke to numerous parents of students at Glendale Unified School District about why they were protesting. The parents pointed to issues with transparency, inappropriate LGBT curriculum and policies, and directed us to shocking videos related to district policies.
“I’m not a political guy in any way,” Ervin, a father of two students at Glendale told The Daily Wire. “I’m just a regular dad.”
While Glendale is a notoriously liberal area of Los Angeles, where registered Democrats double Republicans, Ervin, like other parents who spoke to The Daily Wire, didn’t consider himself particularly political.
“When I started seeing these things pop up locally, and people are complaining about it, I decided to go to a couple of school board meetings and see what the fuss is about,” Ervin said. “And we learned quite a few things that happened. This all kind of got kicked off in my opinion when COVID happened, and some of the parents discovered what was being told to the students, especially the younger ones in elementary school.”
Ervin is referring to the day parents protested an LGBT Pride Day assembly at Saticoy Elementary School, which is in the neighboring Los Angeles Unified School District. The school planned to teach children about “LGBTQ+ identities.” Some parents disagreed, saying they don’t want sexuality discussed at school and many of them kept their children home on the day of the Pride assembly. It was reported that only 40% of the students showed up to school that day.
“Why do elementary kids need to learn about sexual orientation or who they want to have sex with?” Ervin questioned. “Like, eight, nine-year-olds are not thinking about who they’re gonna have sex with.”
More than 100 parents protested outside the elementary school. Protesters held up signs and chanted things like, “Leave our kids alone,” “There’s no pride in grooming,” and “Teach our kids math, science, and English.” A physical fight broke out between protesters and counter-protesters, and a small Pride flag placed outside an elementary classroom was reportedly burned — the flag allegedly belonged to a teacher at the school who identifies as transgender.
Parents also claimed some of the counter-protesters didn’t have a connection to the district.
“I tell them right now, you don’t have a child here,” one father said. “You cannot say what my child should learn or not. If the parent who has a child here comes and says, ‘Hey I feel offended’ — I can talk to him. But they’re here to provoke us.”
Glendale parents said the issue of transparency has been raging for a long time.
Another parent, Marina Vivar, brought her complaint to a Glendale city council meeting and was captured on video. Her daughter — an autistic ninth-grader who has a brain injury — was taught about gay sex in class. Vivar said she opted her daughter out of certain portions of sex-education, but her request was not followed by the school.
“My daughter was taught subjects such as ‘scissoring’ which seems to be two females who decide to have sex with each other,” Vivar said at the meeting. “The good thing is they at least taught you to use female condoms, because if you don’t use female condoms then two females can get pregnant, which is not something that can actually happen.”
“When my daughter did express that I did opt her out of these classes, she was called a bigot by her teacher and her aide, she was called intolerant, and she was also called homophobic,” Vivar continued. “I don’t feel that a teacher or a staff member’s personal opinion, or beliefs, or lack of, should be considered on the clock. That’s not what you guys are paying them for. We’re not paying teachers for their opinions, to share their opinions, or push their opinions, or agendas on children.”
Principal Benjamin Wolf, according to reporting from The Post Millennial, told Vivar that her daughter, Thelma, was mistaken, and this incident never happened. He also told her that parents are not allowed to specifically opt out of LGBTQ content for their children, and must opt out of the entire course. Wolf did say, however, that the form Vivar filled out was “in need of updating” and would be for next school year.
“Then how did my daughter come home explaining to me what scissoring was and asking me how two females can have sex and must use protection … or else they can get pregnant?” Vivar pushed back. “How else would my daughter come home knowing the word ‘transphobic’? … that’s what I would like to know.”
Vivar also said that her daughter’s aide in school is a woman who now identifies as a man and uses male pronouns. Her daughter didn’t understand this due in part to her special needs, Vivar said, and was allegedly being sent to an office repeatedly and disciplined for messing up these “preferred pronouns.”
“I got in trouble for it because I wasn’t exactly sure,” Thelma said. “I never knew what it was. My teacher says I used the wrong pronouns … I got in trouble for it many times, either through adults or students.”
Thelma was told over and over that her aide is now “a man.” Vivar said the school kept these incidents from her and she found out weeks later.
Additionally, a middle school teacher from the Glendale district gave a presentation at the 2019 California Teachers’ Association LGBTQ Issues Conference, where she directs other teachers about how they can start a “Gay-Straight Alliance” club – also known as a “Gender-Sexuality Alliance” club or a GSA in their schools. During the presentation, Rosemont Middle School English teacher Lisa Avery describes starting a GSA without permission from the school principal, who told Avery the children were too young for such a club.
“By the time school started again in the fall, we were done asking for permission,” Avery said during the presentation. “We went to our administrators and said, ‘By the way, we’re starting a GSA, just so you know. This is what’s happening.’”
When they received pushback from the principal, Avery described how her husband — then the school’s Mental Health Counselor — used colorful language when confronting her.
“Right before we wanted to take our club public, [the principal] wanted to pull it out and be like, nope, we can’t do it. She totally got cold feet, and my husband had a little conversation with her in the parking lot where he used some really choice four-letter words and basically said to her, ’Look, these are the kids on campus that are looked down on by everyone else, … if you wanna make the club stop — you can show up to our next meeting and you can tell them yourself.”
One of the most notorious portions of the presentation, though, came when Avery said that she “poached” the school’s most unstable children for leading the GSA. “Our leaders were unreliable,” Avery said. “Remember, we had poached them from the counseling office, right? They were not the most emotionally stable students on campus. Actually, they were the least emotionally stable students on campus, right?”
On June 6, things came to a head at the school district, when some 500 people reportedly protested outside a school board meeting.
“They need to stop asking little children what they sexually identify as,” one protester said, as seen in footage from a FOX affiliate. Another said, “Anybody could come to the principal and say, ‘Ya know what, I’m transgender,’ and walk into the girls’ bathroom.”
There were physical altercations at the protest that gained much media attention. Parents who were in attendance said they were being agitated by outsiders. They said those who started trouble had no connection to the school and some were dressed in riot gear.
“Where were they two weeks ago? Where were they four weeks ago? Where were they? Six weeks ago? Why is it that they showed up on June 6th? Were they there to antagonize people?” Ervin asked. “And that’s exactly what happened. That’s exactly what happened.”
“We had a peaceful protest going on,” the father added. “And then, I mean, you could poke the bear so many times, eventually it’s gonna strike back.”
Weeks later, on June 20, parents gathered to protest outside the last school board meeting of the year. That culminated in one arrest when protesters and counter-protesters again clashed. Almost immediately following that board meeting, Glendale Superintendent Dr. Vivian Ekchian announced her retirement, which was effective on June 30. Ekchian made no reference to the ongoing disputes between parents and administration on her way out, but she said the “transformative work being done throughout the district” would continue.
This wasn’t the only high-profile departure from the district. Ray Shelton, a 5th-grade teacher with decades of teaching experience also left over the transgender policies. He went viral in April when he spoke out at a Glendale school board meeting.
“Two plus two equals four. The world is not flat. Boys have penises, girls have vaginas. Gender is binary and cannot be changed. Biology is not bigotry. Heterosexuality is not hate,” Shelton said at the meeting. “Gender confusion and gender delusion are deep psychological disorders.”
“No caring professional or loving parent would ever support the chemical poisoning or surgical mutilation of a child’s genitalia. Transgender ideology is anti-gay, it is anti-woman, and it is anti-human. And I can also say this as a gay man –,” Shelton continued before his mic was cut off.
Shelton was subsequently suspended from his teaching position, The Daily Signal reported. Hours after that viral moment, another teacher named Alicia Harris filed a complaint against Shelton, suggesting he was pro-Nazi.
For now, parents in Glendale are continuing to speak out. While The superintendent is on her way out, parents still don’t yet know who will replace Ekchian. And another issue that parents are concerned about is a bill currently working its way through the California legislature that could chill future attempts to speak up at school board meetings or even on social media. The bill would criminalize harassment or threats toward school employees after school hours, but the bill doesn’t specify what counts as harassment. Convictions could carry up to a year behind bars and a $1,000 fine. This bill claims to “protect” school employees from parents, but parents say the bill is designed to silence them.
“Like I said, I’m not some huge political guy, but now I’m gonna be,” Ervin told The Daily Wire. “Right now, I’m gonna get more involved. I’m gonna protest — like they say, I’ve been activated now. Nobody wants to be an activist; it’s a pain in the a**. But if we’re dragged into it, we’re forced into it, we will be.”