“Keep your kids home and innocent.”
That’s part of the message included in a flyer being distributed in North Hollywood to protest a Pride event scheduled at Saticoy Elementary School next month. The flyer has upset some parents and educators who believe it is spreading a message of intolerance.
“We respect everyone, but some things are appropriate for children (of) that age, and some things are not,” said George Dzhabroyan, who is among the Saticoy parents unhappy with the school. “Hopefully the message gets across and people understand that parents should be the primary contact of what their children should be exposed to and shouldn’t be exposed to.”
A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District says the June 2 event will include an assembly and teachers will read students a book titled “The Great Big Book of Families,” which highlights diversity.
The district says parents can allow their child to skip the program.
Parents who oppose the program have launched an Instagram account, Saticoy Elementary Parents.
A message posted to the social media channel invites parents “who share conservative values” and “don’t feel this material is appropriate to teach to the children” to protest outside the school at the start of the school day on June 2.
“It was bone-chilling when I first read it,” said Roberto Salcedo, a teacher at nearby Monlux Elementary, who received one of the flyers, which includes messages in English, Spanish and Armenian. “If you really read it for what it is, it’s to incite hatred against people who are different. The message I want parents to realize is that we are all different and we all need to respect our differences.”
Monlux Elementary does not have a scheduled Pride event.
LAUSD said LGBTQ issues are an ongoing conversation within the district.
“As part of our engagement with school communities, our schools regularly discuss the diversity of the families that we serve and the importance of inclusion,” LAUSD said in a statement. “This remains an active discussion with our school communities and we remain committed to continuing to engage with families about this important topic.”