Amid anti-LGBTQ+ extremists protesting at area schools, Los Angeles Unified School District President Jackie Goldberg, who identifies as a lesbian, spoke out against the vitriol this week.
Videos of Goldberg’s speech have gone viral on social media, receiving hundreds of thousands of views.
Also on Tuesday, during its regular meeting, the LAUSD board unanimously adopted a resolution supporting the LGBTQ+ community.
It “proclaims and commemorates June as LGBTQ+ Pride Month, October as LGBTQ+ History Month, as well as October 11th as National Coming Out Day, November 20th as Transgender Day of Remembrance, March 31st as Transgender Day of Visibility, and April 12th as Day of Silence.”
The resolution also encourages schools to incorporate LGBTQ+ lessons throughout the year.
The adoption came after Jackie Goldberg read from the children’s book “The Great Big Book of Families” and gave a passionate speech.
Some parents, as well as outside anti-gay extremists, at Saticoy Elementary School in the North Hollywood had protested a Pride assembly at the school that included reading from “The Great Big Book of Families.”
Goldberg noted that the book has only one sentence that says some families have two mothers or two fathers.
Parents of Saticoy students had been told their children didn’t have to attend the assembly if the parents or children were uncomfortable with it, which Goldberg also mentioned.
“I’ve been confronting this issue my entire life,” Goldberg said after reading from the book. “I have been threatened. I have been harassed. I have been denied jobs because of who I am and who I love.”
She said some protesters at Saticoy said they couldn’t be homophobic because they have gay relatives, which she called “B.S.”
“You can be homophobic and have a gay friend, a gay neighbor, a gay son, a gay anything,” she said. “Talk to all the gay kids that get thrown out of their houses and onto the streets by parents who say I won’t have you in my house any longer, and tell me that having a gay relative means you’re not homophobic.”
Those who protested, Goldberg said, did so “based on hearsay” from “agitators … from outside their community who saw an opportunity to take advantage of the real fears of people.”
Goldberg also said no one in the district will ever “sexualize” children, as the far right has baselessly accused LGBTQ+ activists of doing. Those parents who believe this might happen are invited to review curriculum materials, attend assemblies with their children, and opt their kids out of assemblies they find objectionable, Goldberg said.
Goldberg said she doesn’t believe in forcing anyone to do anything that violates their values.
Goldberg’s speech and the board’s adoption of the resolution came the same night as homophobic extremists, some of whom also targeted Saticoy Elementary the previous week, protested the Glendale Unified School District meeting.
The board was scheduled to vote on a resolution proclaiming Pride Month, and anti-LGBTQ+ protesters clashed with LGBTQ+ rights supporters outside the board office.
Three people were arrested.
The board adopted the resolution.