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Who are the people behind "Leave Our Kids Alone" and why do they want to limit LGBTQ education?

"Leave Our Kids Alone" organizer talks the group's goal to limit LGBTQ education
"Leave Our Kids Alone" organizer talks the group's goal to limit LGBTQ education 03:54

Hundreds marched outside of the Los Angeles Unified School District's headquarters Tuesday, creating a tense atmosphere as the board met for the first time in the new school year. 

This has become an all too familiar scene at local school board meetings as two sides demonstrate against each other. One faction demands parents and activists have more control over school curriculums, while another calls on leaders to support the rights of LGBTQ students. 

"We're here to tell the government we don't want the school teaching our kids ideologies," one speaker said during the protest. "We definitely don't want the schools to hide stuff from parents and that's exactly what's going on in California."\

Parental rights activists like Manuk Gregorian have shown up to school board meetings across Southern California since last spring. 

"My children, my choice, my ways — bottom line," said Gregorian, who is one of the organizers behind "Leave Our Kids Alone," a parental rights group. 

Gregorian and his group have been at multiple protests over the course of the past few months. He said his movement is made of parents who want education about the LGBTQ community limited. 

"It should be up to me to explain to my children how two daddies work, how two mommies work," said Gregorian.

When asked if his children meet kids in school with two mommies or two daddies, Gregorian responded by saying "that's different."

"If that happens, if you see it in the street, that's different," he said. 

The group spreads its message through its Instagram account. There, Leave Our Kids Alone claims to stand against the government's "attempts to indoctrinate kids and separate them from families.

Inside Tuesday's meeting, LA's school board president called their message "hateful rhetoric."

"We don't have the luxury of just rolling our eyes about these people," said board president Jackie Goldberg. "This is sustained, hateful rhetoric... Ours is a district that includes and values all children, no matter ethnicity, immigration status, gender identity, socioeconomic status, racial or ethnic background or the neighborhood they live in."

LAUSD and other districts have claimed that they are simply acknowledging the existence of LGBTQ people and that there is not a sexual component to the curriculum. District leaders said they are simply being inclusive. 

"Here haters will never win. Not in L.A. Unified," said Goldberg. 

At times, demonstrations, where Leave Our Kids Alone are present, have led to violent clashes with counter-protesters. In the protest outside of LAUSD headquarters, the Los Angeles Police Department dispatched some officers to keep the two groups, the other being "By Any Means Necessary," apart. By Any Means Necessary is a coalition aimed at defending "affirmative action, integration and immigrant rights and fight for equality."

"During the protest, at 3rd Street and Beaudry Avenue, the LAPD personnel formed two protective skirmish lines to protect both groups from acts of violence and to ensure their 1st Amendment Right," the department said in a statement. 

LAPD said they tried to create distance between the two sides because of the previously violent interactions between the two sides but said BAMN refused to move. As a result of a series of confrontations between the police and BAMN, officers ordered both sides to leave, according to LAPD. 

Three people, two from BAMN and one from Leave Our Kids Alone were arrested for defying the order. 

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