GLENDALE, Calif. (KABC) -- A coalition of educators, parents, elected officials and others hit the steps of Glendale City Hall Thursday to warn that anti-LGBTQ+ supporters are targeting the city's school district and trying to win seats in the upcoming school board elections.
"I have been a teacher in this district for two decades and I have never seen anything like this," said Glendale science teacher Cynthia Chan. "I am scared."
Organizers of the event say they've seen a surge in anti-LGBTQ violence and harassment in Glendale, which has left them feeling unsafe in their schools.
"Educators' names, where they work, their room number and other personal information have been posted and shared on social media," said Taline Arsenian, president of the Glendale Teachers Association. "There have even been threats of physical violence by phone call and email."
The outcry against Glendale Unified's policies toward gender identity and other LGBTQ issues peaked last June when hundreds of protestors gathered outside the district's school board meeting as it voted to recognize June as Pride Month. Fights broke out and three people were arrested.
Participants in Thursday's news conference say depriving students of any books or materials that could help guide them through any possible gender identity questions could lead to tragic outcomes for those kids.
"That's what's going to harm children," said Assembly Member Laura Friedman, whose district covers part of Glendale. "That's what leads to depression, that's what leads to bullying, that's what leads directly to teen suicide."
Glendale has two school board seats up for election on March 5.