Three Arrests From Violent Clash at GUSD Board Meeting


A volatile Glendale Unified School District (GUSD) meeting took place on Tuesday night. Responding to recent GUSD board meetings that had become contentious, the Glendale Police Dept. (GPD) provided staff with some safety suggestions. The parking lot was cleared of all cars and blockades were placed at its entrances and exits. There was a large police presence and, as a safety measure, most of the GUSD staff left earlier in the afternoon to work from home.

Prior to the meeting GlendaleOUT had sent out messages that its members were having a “Big Fat Community Group Hug” at the site – its way of saying “thank you to our GUSD educators and administrators for all the good work they’ve done on behalf of our entire Glendale community this year.” Tuesday was the last scheduled GUSD board meeting of the school year.

Several people on-site were from the LGBTQ+ community and its allies. They linked arms and formed a circle chanting “Love, not hate.” As this was occurring there was a line of people to enter the GUSD board meeting that started at 5 p.m. Only 72 seats were available and they filled up quickly. Those who were not able to be seated inside were allowed to fill out a speaker’s card and were called in when their time arrived to speak.


Outside the building it was obvious there were several people who not only did not have students in the district (one person held up an LAUSD sign), were not residents of the GUSD area but were on-site to promote their political agenda – even setting up a merchandise booth at the edge of the parking lot. Reportedly there were members protestors on-site affiliated with antifa and the Proud Boys along with other protestors from outside the area.

“Several hundred protestors gathered, many waving American flags and LGBTQ+ flags,” according to a GPD statement.

One side opposed the GUSD position on LGBTQ+ policies; however, the only thing on the agenda Tuesday was Resolution 27-Proclaming June 2023 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month – something the board had approved the last three years.

The other side was in support of GUSD’s LGBTQ+ position of inclusion.

The board meeting began with President Nayiri Nahabedian reminding those present that they will hear from people they do not agree with but to remember they were “all adults and there needs to be decorum” then advised to respectfully listen to those speaking even if they disagreed with their comments.

“Young people are paying attention,” she said.

The majority of the speakers were in favor of how GUSD responded to the LGBTQ+ issues with students. Many spoke of misinformation that had been shared across social media. They asked for the district to continue to support the LGBTQ+ community, its allies and families.

One speaker commented on how the “energy” in the room was so different from past meetings commenting that everyone listened to speakers and, for the most part, didn’t make rude comments. There were a couple of flare-ups but when those occurred the audience seemed to police itself by telling possible agitators to stay quiet.

Those who opposed GUSD’s actions spoke about their concern for their children. One speaker said his daughter was afraid to go to the restroom; another was concerned about books that were in the schools’ libraries, although it was not specified what books they were worried about. Another parent repeated a concern that had been stated in earlier meetings about the many permission forms that are shared with parents throughout the year – from allowing children to attend field trips to allowing them to receive medication. She asked why parents were not given permission forms to sign when the dialogue between teachers and students concerned LBGTQ+ matters.

While this sometimes intense but controlled conversation was occurring inside, a completely different scenario was happening outside. About an hour into the meeting the two groups, according to police, consisting of “a handful of agitators, on both sides of the issue, arrived at the demonstration with a clear desire to confront and incite violence, ultimately engaging in physical assault.”

A resident of Glendale who supported LGBTQ+ said that several members from the opposing side continued to try to engage him into an altercation. He and his wife walked away from the agitator.

GPD officers attempted to de-escalate the situation and three individuals were arrested on various charges including unlawful use of pepper spray and willfully obstructing officers in the course of their duties.

GPD officers put up expandable barricades to separate the two groups, moving them out of the parking lot in an attempt to disperse the crowd. GPD officers in riot gear entered the boardroom and told those in attendance to stay inside until they could secure a safe exit. The meeting paused for a short while then started again with those in attendance who had already filled out a speaker’s card being allowed to speak at the podium. Those outside the boardroom who had speaker’s cards were not called.

The violence that erupted was similar to one that occurred outside a North Hollywood elementary school last week that included many of the same groups. The school was celebrating Pride month.

The meeting then went into closed session; when the board members returned they resumed deliberating on the night’s agenda and the meeting extended late into the night. It was unanimously voted upon to accept Resolution 27-Proclaming June 2023 as LGBTQ+ Pride Month.

CVW spoke to two parents outside who did not have megaphones to yell their opinions. They were deeply concerned about GUSD’s LGBTQ+ actions. One mom said her daughter had gone to a school administrator and changed her pronouns without the parent’s knowledge. Later, when she turned 18, she reportedly went to a doctor to begin her transition. The mom said she felt blindsided by this and wanted the school to communicate with parents. The school district has investigated the claim and has not been able to verify it though it still is investigating.

Another mom said her son came home embarrassed and concerned because he had just found out he had been undressing in a locker room for almost a year with a “biological girl” on-site. It made him feel extremely uncomfortable. There are separate and private dressing rooms in the locker room; however, he didn’t have the information that a “biological girl” was changing at the same time in the same locker room. She was also concerned about her son’s rights as an evangelical Christian. She added that her son was afraid to share his beliefs due to the amount of backlash he might receive. She questioned where the tolerance and protection was in the district for her child.

Next week CVW will continue with the story including information from GUSD.