High school students in Temecula stage walkout over alleged anti-LGBTQ policies

TEMECULA, Calif. (KABC) — Dozens of high school students walked out of Great Oak High School in Temecula, protesting recent actions taken by the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s board of education that protesters say target the LGBTQ community.

One protestor estimated that between 75 and 115 students took part in the walkout, even after school officials warned students who participated that they would be disciplined.

“On Wednesday, the school sent out an email saying anyone who participated would be punished,” said Moxxie Childs, a student who helped organize the protest.

“I was worried we wouldn’t have the numbers, but we had a pretty big turnout.”

One protester carried a sign that read “Trans Lives Matter.” Others waved pride flags and banners, as they walked across the street to an adjacent sports park, where they gave short speeches.

Childs said not only did students participate in the protest, but they were joined by many parents on the other side of the street who supported them.

But Childs said the support overall on campus is far from overwhelming. He estimated only about half of the student population at Great Oak High School supports the LGBTQ community.

“There’s a lot of support, but also a lot of hate. People yelling things; yelling slurs. Which is really frustrating at a place that’s supposed to be safe like a school.”

Childs has also been passing out pride flags on campus as a form of protest, shortly after the school board voted to enact a policy to prohibit all flags on school property expect for the U.S. flag and the state of California flag.

Although there’s nothing in the policy that specifically calls for banning a particular flag, protestors feel that based on comments made by those who spoke out in support of the policy at the most recent board meeting, the policy was intended to remove all pride flags from campus.

“It makes me so upset to go to my child’s school and see a rainbow flag on the wall,” said one supporter of the policy at the September 12th school board meeting.

“Those flags represent the enemy and the devil,” said another supporter during public comment.

However, the board president said the policy was not meant to target the pride flag, but rather unify the school on a patriotic front.

“We need to make sure we get the standard American flag in every classroom and say the pledge (of allegiance),” said board president Dr. Joseph Komrosky. “It’s the law.”

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