Inviting Proud Boys to school board meetings doesn’t keep kids “safe.”

Ali M Collins
7 min readJun 14, 2023


Last week was out of control in LA, my “hometown.” The same folks radicalizing Christian Armenian families in Glendale, CA, invited Proud Boys and other Jan 6 insurrectionists to anti-LGBTQ protests at the Glendale Unified School District. It got violent.

Media continue to frame these conflicts as being driven by “conservative parents.” This amplifies right-wing propaganda. We’ve seen many of the same activities happening in SF and nationally. Media often cite “conservative parents” in their reporting. In reality, many protesters who have been showing up to threaten educators and dehumanize LGBTQ families don’t even have kids in the schools they are protesting.

So, it is no surprise when Glendale “parents” showed up at Saticoy Elementary a few weeks ago after anti-LGBTQ activists burned a Pride flag and protested a book about two dads. There was a scrum there as well.

Imagine saying you care about student safety while threatening to zip-tie their principal!

Glendale Unified families made a statement confirming the involvement of outsiders in stoking violence at their January 6th school board meeting.

If you are inviting violent MAGA extremists to a school board meeting you don’t care about student safety.

Yet, mainstream media continue to silence the voices of REAL parents fighting to protect public schools and vulnerable students. Glendale’s story is SF’s story is Fairfax Co’s story. Media must stop platforming dangerous extremists!

@BenjaminPDixon and I talked about this OVER A YEAR AGO. Many activists and researchers have been talking about this. Yet, mainstream media continue to amplify right-wing propaganda and suppress the truth.

A right-wing outrage campaign

For the record, books about “gay dads” have been read in CA schools since before the FAIR Act was passed over ten years ago. For decades, educators in CA and elsewhere have included LGBTQ themes in our curriculum with nary an incident. We didn’t see violent protests like this until Moms for Liberty, Parents Defending Education, and other right-wing “parents’ rights” groups were created.

In the 25 years I’ve been an educator in the Bay Area, I have never ONCE heard a parent complaining about harm from curriculum featuring LGBTQ themes, history, or protagonists. Yet Moms for Liberty school board candidates are now empowered to push hate speech re: Harvey Milk.

Temecula school board president calls Harvey Milk ‘pedophile’ before book banning vote.

It breaks my heart to say this as an advocate for parents’ rights, but now, when you hear this term, know that you are listening to extremists. The Southern Poverty Law Center recently included Moms for Liberty in their list of extremist groups.

Despite what they say, based on the violence and harassment that often flows from their activity, the “mama bears” of this parents’ rights movement don’t care about protecting ALL parents or all kids. Based on the violence and harassment that often flows from their activity, the “mama bears” of this parents’ rights movement don’t care about protecting ALL parents or all kids.

How do I know? I am an ACTUAL parents’ rights activist. I care about parents of Black kids, trans kids, immigrants kids, non-Christian kids, and disabled kids. All these kids and many others deserve to go to high-quality, loving schools free from hate.

As someone dedicated to creating safe, inclusive schools where kids can exercise curiosity and academic freedom (necessary for academic success, BTW), educators know parental involvement is essential; this is why the “parents’ rights” movement is fake.

California parents have ALWAYS had the right to be involved in their child’s learning. They have always had opportunities to give input on curriculum and opt out of curriculum they don’t want their children exposed to. It’s been in the CA Ed Code since 1998. 9/

Folks (read: mainstream media) need to ask why these “parents’ rights” groups are advocating for rights we already have regarding harms that don’t exist.

More importantly, why are they inviting extremists to school board protests if they are so concerned about child safety?

Andy Ngo is a right-wing antifa conspiracy theorist now actively tweeting about Glendale. He is not a parent and lives in Washington state. He is associated with violent extremists involved in Jan 6 Capital riots.

Andy also tweeted about the SF school board recall.

What is an Antifa conspiracy theorist in Washington doing tweeting about CA school board politics? Because Andy makes money promoting right-wing narratives. Here he is hanging out w/ other Koch network-funded “journalists”.

Witness the right-wing media ecosystem in action!

Andy shares videos of a Virginia “parent activist”, Asra Nomani, who is paid hundreds of thousands of dollars to promote violent political theater undermining student safety, public education, and democracy in Georgia. His advocacy is NOT organic!

Asra Nomani is a former Washington Post journalist and was the founding VP of Strategy for Parents Defending Education, a parents’ rights astroturf group where Ed Blum serves on the Board. She now works for the Independent Women’s Forum, another right-wing conservative women’s (formerly known as Women for Judge Thomas.)

Tagging in extremists to amplify violence played out online during the SF School Board Recalls. Man Kit Lam, a lead SF school board recaller working with failed Board of Education candidate Josephine Zhao, tagged Andy Ngo into Twitter conversations during the SF recall to target parents. Man Kit Lam was rewarded for his service in the recall with a position in Supervisory Joel Engardio’s office as a legislative aid.

The SF School Board Recall was a beta test. Josephine Zhao, who was forced to drop out of a previous race for making transphobic comments, was in regular communication with accounts which repeatedly asked Tony Moon to come to SF to target parents against the recall.

This tactic of using extremists to target teachers, parents, and kids is not new. It is happening nationally. Here is a screenshot of a right-wing Christian nationalist account using Andy’s tweet about Glendale to threaten Temecula families. How is posting a picture of Proud Boys attacking parents and other LGBTQ supporters with the title “Get ready Temecula” PROTECTING children?!?

Do you see the playbook? Using MAGA extremists to threaten parents. Andy Ngo tweets about Glendale and Christian nationalists threatening families in Temecula. Now the Proud Boys are planning to show up there. When will the media acknowledge this is a coordinated attack on FAMILIES?!?

Imagine how hateful you have to be to make school board meetings so violent that children aren’t safe to attend them, let alone speak up about what they need.

It’s all connected…

The connections between SF and Loudon/Fairfax County, VA, and now Saticoy, Glendale, and Temecula demonstrate how an unwillingness to discuss connections between the “parents’ rights” movement and extremists has allowed it to grow to the point where we are now seeing open violence towards the LGBTQ community during Pride month.

These outside agitators are actively targeted children. They are preventing educators, parents, and students from exercising their 1st Amendment rights. This example from Temecula Valley, CA is just one of many happening across our nation.

I have so much more to say and will continue tweeting about this. In the meantime, demand better media coverage. Anti-Blackness, police brutality, and anti-LGBTQ violence are all connected. We all have to stand up and speak up for all of us!



Ali M Collins

mom of twins. education nerd. public school warrior. reformed cat-lady. amateur urbanist. social justice addict. BLERD. & most recently Board of Ed Commissioner