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Hate Crimes Up in California, Fueled by Hate-Filled Trump Era

An 11.2 percent spike



single-payer health care, gay news, Washington Blade

(Photo by Martin Jambon; courtesy Wikimedia Commons)

Remember that moment eons ago last June 14 when a lone gunman opened fire on Republican lawmakers practicing baseball, nearly killing House Majority Whip Steve Scalise? The two African American Special Agents prevented a potential massacre, with Agent Crystal Griner, a married lesbian, being credited with firing the fatal shot that took down the gunman. For a moment the country seemed unified as Republican and Democratic leaders came together over fear of gratuitous violence, promising restored civility.

In normal times, something of that promise might have stuck. But these are far from normal times and the uncorking of incivility, unconscionable bullying and violence that erupted out of Donald Trump’s campaign last year now reeks in the Oval Office. And Trump supporters love the stench of his crude attempts at machismo, not just slamming MSNBC hosts Joe Scarborough and Mika Brzezinski on Twitter but claiming she was “bleeding badly from a face-lift.” Asked about this new attack on a prominent female critic, Trump spokesperson Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “”The president in no way, form or fashion has ever promoted or encouraged violence. If anything, quite the contrary. And he was simply pushing back and defending himself.”

Fact-checkers wasted no time in disproving Sanders’ assertion. Politifact, for instance noted this: “In February 2016, during his campaign for president, Trump told a crowd in Cedar Rapids, Iowa, ‘So I got a little notice. We have wonderful security guys. It said, ‘Mr. Trump, there may be somebody with tomatoes in the audience.’ So if you see somebody getting ready to throw a tomato, knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously. Just knock the hell …. I promise you, I will pay for the legal fees. I promise. I promise.’ As a review of the video shows, Trump is not smiling or chuckling as if this was intended as a joke”

Trump disputed Sanders himself a few days later, re-tweeting a doctored video showing Trump in 2007 body-slamming and punching WrestleMania CEO Vince McMahon, whose face is replaced with the CNN logo. CNN subsequently identified the creator of the video, who apologized but received death threats from his white nationalist Reddit pro-Trump group.

Trump won’t apologize since he thinks he’s never wrong. As he explained to Jimmy Fallon:  “I fully think apologizing’s a great thing, but you have to be wrong. . . . I will absolutely apologize sometime in the distant future if I’m ever wrong.”

To be fair, while Trump and white nationalist Trump-whisperer Steve Bannon promoted the destruction of civility as we know it, they and the Republican Party are not the only purveyors of violence. California Assembly Speaker Anthony Rendon has been receiving death threats for shelving a single-payer healthcare bill, at least for this year. Leaders of the California Nurses Association have been roundly criticized for circulating an image of a California bear with a knife stuck in its back and Rendon’s name on the handle. The LA Daily News reports that one tweet “said someone should check out Rendon’s schedule for ‘baseball practice,’ alluding to the recent shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise while the Republican team was practicing for the annual congressional baseball game.”

Democratic gubernatorial candidate, former LA mayor and former union organizer Antonio Villaraigosa may have had his version of a “Sister Souljah” moment with his criticism.

“The organizations and leaders raising the temperature of this discussion to the boiling point should also pause and reflect on their own responsibility to dial down the rhetoric and return to a civil debate,” Villaraigosa said in a statement. “The supporters of single payer are not responsible for these death threats. But we are all responsible for elevating the level of our civic discourse and speaking out at once against violence and threats.”

“Is Trump teaching us that the way to get what you want is to bully them on social media and trash them in public?” asked Melissa Michelson, a political science professor at Atherton’s Menlo College. “It’s not working for Trump, so I’m not sure why the nurses thought it would work for them.”

But the message of hate has trickled down, as evidence by the latest hate crime statistics. On Monday, July 3, the California Department of Justice released its annual report on hate crimes showing an 11.2 percent spike—the second year in a row for double-digit increases.

In 2015, hate crimes jumped to 10.4 percent, compared to 2014, with hate crimes against minorities targeted by Trump—Muslims and Latinos (ie, undocumented immigrants)—accounting for the largest increase. Hate crimes against Muslims jumped from 18 in 2014 to 40 in 2015; crimes against Latinos went from 60 in 2014 to 81 in 2015.

There were 931 total “events” (a crime report) and 1,190 total “offenses” (criminal acts). The report says: “Hate crime events involving a racial bias increased 21.3 percent from 428 in 2015 to 519 in 2016. • Anti-white bias events went from 34 in 2015 to 56 in 2016. • Anti-black or African American bias events went from 231 in 2015 to 251 in 2016, an increase of 8.7 percent. • Anti-multiple races bias events went from 17 in 2015 to 34 in 2016. Hate crime events involving a sexual orientation bias increased 10.1 percent from 188 in 2015 to 207 in 2016.• Anti-gay (male) bias events increased from 108 in 2015 to 152 in 2016, an increase of 40.7 percent.”

There were also 248 offenses based on sexual orientation, 20.8 percent of the total, with gay men having the highest number at 180 offenses and 15.1 percent of the total.

Additionally, there were 25 anti-transgender events and 25 offenses with 2.7 percent and 2.1 percent of the total number of hate crimes respectively, though the report does not specific if the victims were trans women or men.
Los Angeles County reported 375 events and 437 offenses, way more than any county in California. Los Angeles had 227 events and 251 offenses; West Hollywood reported 7 events and 10 offenses; Long Beach had 8 events and 9 offenses. (Silver Lake, Atwood and Echo Park were not identified in the report and hence probably fell under Los Angeles.)

District attorneys throughout California had 118 total hate crime cases with dispositions for 2016, with 51 total convictions and 46 guilty pleas/nolo contendere pleas. Of those, LA DAs filed 43 hate crime cases, with 11 total convictions.
As is often the case after annual hate crime reports, law enforcement officials say the spike may be attributable to greater reporting. But that view does not square with the fear on the part of undocumented immigrants and their families and neighbors of being turned over by the police to ICE for possible deportation. Additionally, Muslims, African Americans and the LGBT community has a traditionally suspicious relationship with law enforcement and the broader communities, though that had been changing prior to Trump’s campaign, election and continuous bigoted comments.

Additionally, perhaps because of lack of resources, staff or specific evidence, previous communications between the district attorney’s office and the impacted communities have fallen to the wayside.

California Attorney General Xavier Becerra understands that hate crimes target more than just the victim of the moment. “When someone commits a crime motivated by hate, it is not just an attack on one innocent person, but an attack on the entire state and our communities,” he said in a statement. “We can see from today’s report that words matter.”

And the federal Bureau of Justice Statistics gets it, noting in a new report that more than half the 250,000 hate crimes that occurred in each year from 2004 to 2015 went unreported and were handled in some other way. That report, too, cited racial bias as the main motivating factor for the crime, with more than 48 percent of the cases between 2011 and 2015; ethnicity was the motivation for about 35 percent; and sexual orientation accounted for about 22 percent.

US Attorney General Jeff Sessions says the administration wants people to report crimes. “Hate crimes are violent crimes,” Sessions told officials, experts and advocacy groups at a summit on June 29. “No person should have to fear being violently attacked because of who they are, what they believe or how they worship.”

But that’s not how it works. “Many victims don’t report hate crimes because of personal and institutional reasons,” Brian Levin, director of the Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, California State University, told the Associated Press. Some LGBT victims, for instance may not report a hate crime for fear of being outed and thus lose their job or family.

Levin also called into question the whole system of police departments voluntarily reporting hate crimes to the FBI. “We have Columbus, Ohio, reporting more hate crimes than the state of Florida,” he said.

Does anyone care?


Riverside County

SoCal school district vetoes social studies curriculum over LGBTQ

The board signaled that they were opposed to any curriculum that included former openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk



Temecula Valley school board meeting May16, 2023. (Screenshot/YouTube Temecula Valley School District)

TEMECULA, Calif. – A contentious and at times acrimonious Temecula Valley Unified School District School Board meeting ended with the board vetoing the social studies curriculum proposed for the district’s elementary schools. At issue was pushback on LGBTQ+ issues by the three conservative members.

Board Member Jennifer Wiersma, is one of the three backed by the Inland Empire Family Pac, a far-right group that opposes LGBTQ+ rights, transparent sexual education curriculum, and so-called ‘Critical Race Theory’ although that material is not taught in K-12 schools anywhere in the United States.

During the discussion, Wiersma told other board members and the audience: “I don’t want my 3rd grader studying an LGBTQ issue. I don’t want them going into gender ideology.” Wiersma, supported by the other two conservatives, Danny Gonzalez and Dr. Joseph Komrosky, signaled that they were also opposed to any curriculum that included lessons or information about former openly gay San Francisco City Supervisor Harvey Milk.

Milk along with LGBTQ+ ally, George Moscone, the 37th mayor of San Francisco, were assassinated by a homophobic former San Francisco City Supervisor Dan White in their offices at city hall on November 27, 1978.

Curriculum that deals with LGBTQ+ history is mandated under California’s FAIR Education Act, which was signed into law on July 14, 2011, and went into effect on January 1, 2012. It amends the California Education Code to include the Fair, Accurate, Inclusive and Respectful reference to contributions by people with disabilities and members of the LGBTQ community in history and social studies curriculum.

Voting against the proposed elementary school social studies curriculum due to its inclusion of Milk will leave 11,397 students without a social studies textbook for the next academic school year.

The frustration was evident in the testy public comments, many taking aim at the conservatives on the board. In a video of the meeting, one audience member can be heard shouting “You’re not qualified! You’re not qualified!’ at the board.

In a statement, Edgar Diaz, the president of the Temecula Valley Educator Association said:

“We’ve never experienced this before. I’ve never heard of a top performing district or any district say you know what we are going to withhold these materials.”

The pilot social studies program, which included material approved by the California Department of Education, was approved by 47 Temecula Valley Unified Schools teachers who had taught the material in 18 elementary schools.

During the discussions, Board Member Allison Barclay, who voted to approve the new curriculum, told fellow members and the audience: “It was piloted, we followed every policy, and procedures. The options were out there for parents. Thirteen-hundred family’s kids learned from this curriculum. We did not receive any complaints.”

The California Education Code has been updated over time to ensure that the contributions of members of underrepresented racial, ethnic and cultural groups to the economic, political, and social development of California and the United States are included in history and social studies lessons.

To this end, California Education Code’s Social Content statute requires that instructional materials:

  • Portray accurately and equitably the cultural and racial diversity of American society
  • Demonstrate the contribution of minority groups and males and females to the development of California and the U.S.
  • Emphasize people in varied, positive, and contributing roles in order to influence students’ school experiences constructively
  • Not contain inappropriate references to commercial brand names, products, and corporate or company logos

The three member conservative majority also alleged that district parents lacked having had sufficient opportunities for input into the new curriculum. In the mission credo of the Inland Empire Family PAC, it states the group was created to ensure parents are the final decision maker in the education of their children, not the Government.

School Board Member Steven Schwartz, who joined fellow board member Barclay said: “Parents didn’t respond. Whose fault is it that parents didn’t respond? It’s their fault. Not our fault and not the teacher’s fault.”

The Temecula Valley Unified School District released the following statement:

“The district is currently extending the window for viewing and feedback on textbook materials that were piloted and recommended by our teachers. We will continue to gather additional community and parent feedback for the board.

At this time, we are not looking at changes with the publisher since TCI is a CDE approved curriculum that complies with the FAIR Act. TCI is also our approved Social Studies textbook at the middle school level.

We are working with TCI and our pilot teachers to provide additional parent/community nights to share the materials again and provide an opportunity for additional questions. We want to ensure that parents and community members have as much information as possible and are able to provide even more feedback.

We are also working with the Riverside County Office of Education and CDE to explore next steps if the curriculum is not adopted. Our goal is to ensure we are compliant with the Williams Act and ensure the high quality instruction for students in TVUSD continues.”

A spokesperson for the Temecula Valley Educator Association said that there will be rallies On June 6 and June 13 to support the the new social studies curriculum.

Requests for comment from Dr. Joseph Komrosky Temecula Valley Unified School District School Board president went unanswered.

May 16, 2023, 6:00 PM – Open Session – TVUSD Governing Board Meeting:

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Los Angeles

LAPD responds to anti-LGBTQ+ protest at valley elementary school

A spokesperson for the LAPD said that the protests were mostly peaceful although acknowledged there was heated rhetoric between the two groups



Screenshot/YouTube KTLA 5

LOS ANGELES – Officers from the Los Angeles Police Department’s North Hollywood Community Station responded to an assistance request from the Los Angeles Unified School District’s  School Police Department to keep dueling groups of protestors separate at Saticoy Elementary School early Friday morning.

The two groups of protestors numbered approximately 120 people, many carrying signs and waving American national flags and LGBTQ+ Pride flags. One group of parents had taken to social media and distribute flyers to protest the scheduled June 2, LGBTQ+ Pride event at the school located at 7850 Ethel Avenue in North Hollywood.

Earlier this week, the LAPD announced that investigators were looking into an incident where a small LGBTQ+ Pride flag located outside of a classroom of a trans teacher at the elementary was destroyed in an act of arson.

At today’s protests, KTLA’s Kimberly Cheng spoke with people advocating for parents of LGBTQ+ kids and their allies as well as those opposed. Cheng also interviews LAUSD Board Member Kelly Gonez who told KTLA that there were only two sentences in a book read out loud at the Pride assembly and that the school district was standing by its LGBTQ students and faculty.

Screenshot/YouTube KTLA 5

A spokesperson for the LA LGBT Center, Terra Russell-Slavin, said in a statement:

“I am beyond disappointed to read about the events unfolding at Saticoy Elementary School—and not just from where I sit as the Chief Impact Officer of the Los Angeles LGBT Center. To be completely frank, I am more so concerned as a lesbian mother who’s raising a child in Los Angeles County. 

The rhetoric we’re seeing from ‘concerned parents’ at Saticoy Elementary mirrors the dangerous misinformation campaigns that have been lodged against our community by far-right activists and religious extremists. For the past few years, they’ve planted seeds in the public imagination that LGBTQ+ people are attempting to ‘indoctrinate’ or ‘sexualize’ children. These outrageous lies have, sadly, taken hold throughout our country; the backlash we’re facing is among the worst chapters in our movement’s history. There are more than 500 pieces of anti-LGBTQ+ legislation on the books this year, accompanied by an increase in threats to LGBTQ service providers and schoolteachers, the banning of books that tell our stories and history, and the criminalization of our access to healthcare. 

The Pride celebration scheduled at Saticoy Elementary School was meant to celebrate LGBTQ+ community members and families like mine. My wife and I are proudly raising our child to be accepting, welcoming, and loving to everyone—and hope that his education reflects those same values of basic human dignity and decency. The fact that this is somehow a controversial or ‘hot-button issue’ is not just alarming, it’s deeply saddening. Families like mine deserve to be included and represented in our classrooms and our school events. My child should not be educated to be ashamed of his mothers. I am not a threat to anyone by loving my family. 

As the Chief Impact Officer of the Center, I know that if this kind of anti-LGBTQ+ demonstration is happening here in Los Angeles, this fight is only getting uglier in other parts of our country. That’s why we have to confront ignorance and hatred head-on, and make sure we don’t give it the oxygen to proliferate. We should be leaders of this movement and a safe haven for queer and trans people everywhere—and we should be using our example to help families across the country fight for their rights and their safety.

I hope LAUSD knows they can always rely on the Center to intervene in situations like these—and I hope the parents protesting Pride at Saticoy Elementary can come to an understanding that there is nothing dangerous about LGBTQ+ people. On the contrary: The real danger is the homophobia and transphobia that result in organizations like ours needing to house, feed, educate, and celebrate youth displaced by their families simply based on their identity. If we really care about our youth, we will nurture them with examples of radical love and acceptance—which is exactly what the spirit of Pride is all about.”

A spokesperson for the LAPD said that the protests were mostly peaceful although acknowledged there was heated rhetoric between the two groups.

Dueling protests separated by police ahead of Pride event at North Hollywood elementary school:


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Governor, AG, & State Superintendent warn against book bans

The joint letter sent Thursday highlights case law and constitutional precedent that restricts the removal of books from libraries and schools



California High School Students (Photo Credit: Office of the Governor/California Department of Education)

SACRAMENTO – Governor Gavin Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and State Superintendent Tony Thurmond sent a joint letter to all county school superintendents, district school superintendents, and charter school administrators cautioning against book bans.

The letter released on Thursday, June 1, outlines pertinent educational civil rights and corresponding legal mandates school administrators are required to follow to preserve freedom and ensure access to diverse perspectives and curricula.
“In the first half of this school year alone, 1,477 books were banned nationally, with teachers and librarians threatened with prison time for shelving the wrong book,” said Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and Superintendent Thurmond.

“As state leaders elected to represent the values of all Californians, we offer our response in one shared voice: Access to books – including books that reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives of Californians, and especially, those that may challenge us to grapple with uncomfortable truths – is a profound freedom we all must protect and cultivate.”
The joint letter sent Thursday highlights case law and constitutional precedent that restricts the removal of books from libraries and schools; the responsibilities of school administrators to provide students exposure to various world views; and the legal mandates that require school administrators to provide an unbiased curriculum to students and preserve freedom of speech.

Additionally, the joint letter informs local educational agencies that if they remove or ban instructional materials from classrooms or libraries, they may be requested to provide information to the Attorney General’s Office for analysis.
While other states ban books, California is improving education outcomes and investing tens of billions of dollars to improve literacy. California outperformed most states — including Florida and Texas — in mitigating learning loss during the pandemic, and through historic levels of school funding, the state is building a cohesive structure of support for educators and students that reflects a focus on equity, inclusion, and academic success.

Equality California’s Executive Director Tony Hoang responded to the letter in a statement:

“At a time when over a dozen states have already passed laws banning books and censoring school curriculum, we applaud this clear and forceful guidance from the highest offices in our state unequivocally demonstrating their commitment to providing unfettered access to an inclusive and accurate education for all students. 

Across California, we are witnessing a growing number of school districts considering and passing policies to censor curriculum, books, and other materials discussing racism and even the very existence of LGBTQ+ people. These actions create a hostile learning environment for LGBTQ+ and other marginalized students and send them the harmful message that their history and experiences should be ignored.

Nearly 2 in 3 LGBTQ+ young people said that hearing about potential state or local laws banning people from discussing LGBTQ+ people at school made their mental health worse. The link between supportive school environments, access to affirming resources, and youth mental health could not be clearer. 

This guidance from the Governor, the Attorney General and the State Superintendent is a welcome counter to the vile and hateful attacks on the LGBTQ+ community and other marginalized groups. Any school district that attempts to ban books or erase the experiences of LGBTQ+ people will be forced to answer to the state’s chief law enforcement officer. 

California will continue to lead by example by cultivating and protecting access to books that are vital to prepare youth for civic participation, instill values needed to maintain our democracy, and teach about subjects that are a very real part of our shared history and understanding. That is what makes California stronger each and every day.”

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West Hollywood

WeHo presents key to the city to LA Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence

Presentation took place on Wednesday, May 31 at a reception at Heart WeHo to mark the kick-off of WeHo Pride 2023



West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne kicked off LGBTQ Pride Month 2023 by presenting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a key to the city. (LA Blade photo by Simha Haddad)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne kicked off LGBTQ Pride Month 2023 by presenting the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence with a key to the city.

The presentation of the key took place on the Heart Nightclub stage in front of hundreds of invited guests, less than a couple of weeks after The LA Dodgers Major League Baseball franchise apologized for shunning the LA Chapter drag group.

After their public apology, the Dodgers offered the sisters the Community Hero Award for their twenty-seven years of service in the community to be presented at LA Dodger ‘Pride Night’ on June 16 at Dodger Stadium.

“Tonight is so important,” Mayor Shyne told The Blade. “The sisters were discriminated against, and we all rallied behind them. This jey to the city symbolized the love that we have for each other no matter what. We will always stand together united.”

“On behalf of my colleagues on the City Council – and in representing the City of West Hollywood – I’m happy to extend a Key to the City to the Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne alongside WeHo’s Mayor Pro Tempore John M. Erickson. 
(LA Blade photo by Simha Haddad)

The Mayor, Los Angeles County Supervisor Lindsey P. Horvath who is a former Mayor of WeHo, along with representatives from the Sisters drag group, Assemblymember Rick Chavez Zbur, and California State Senator Caroline Menjivar, with Los Angeles LGBT Center Chief Executive Officer Joe Hollendoner, LA Pride President Gerald GarthBoard had attended a meeting with Dodgers President and part-owner Stan Kasten and other stakeholders on Monday, May 22, to work out a solution.

Supervisor Horvath, who had facilitated the meeting, later told the Blade that important dialogue between the Dodgers and other parties had commenced. “I was honestly moved and grateful by the commitment in the room by all the parties, especially Dodgers President and part-owner Stan Kasten,” Horvath said.

Sister Unity, a spokesperson for the drag group, told The Blade that the sisters’ work has never been about accolades.

“Our work has never been about awards,” said Unity. “We love to dress up this way, it’s fun, and the glitter is so pretty. But then, when we saw just how much need there is for our work, how on any given night there are between five and seven thousand unhoused LGBTQ+ children who have been thrown out of their homes, the need for our work fueled us along with our delight in dressing up.” 

Unity also shared that the Dodgers incident as well as Shyne’s presentation of the key, marks a cultural shift both in the LGBTQ+ community and in America.

“As drag queens twenty-seven years ago, we knew we weren’t likely to get a lot of accolades. In a community that is already fringe, we were the fringe of the fringe. We are risky. We stick our necks out by being ‘this’ queer. We never expected the amount of support that came to us after what happened with the Dodgers. The fact that we were stood up for by so many members within and without the community marked a big change. They trusted us enough to stand up for us. Drag is now not only accepted at nightclubs. It is accepted politically in boardrooms and meeting rooms in all these prestigious institutions.”

The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence have been creating positive change since their first appearance in San Francisco on Easter Sunday, 1979. Since then, the Sisters have established Orders in places such as London, Paris, Wales, and more. They have devoted themselves to community service, ministry, and outreach to those on the edges and to promoting human rights, respect for diversity, and spiritual enlightenment.

The Los Angeles Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence made their debut in Southern California in 1995 in Diana Ross’s video with RuPaul promulgating joy launching their decades-long commitment to social activism. They work to strengthen community through drag activism by raising much-needed funds for community charities and by bringing about a better understanding of gay spirituality. They also work to unite LGBTQ communities and raise drag awareness among individuals, businesses, and organizations that are often ignorant or even hostile to members of the drag population.

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Southern California

Triple A: Gas prices went up Memorial Day, but may be temporary

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is seven cents higher than last week



Screenshot/YouTube KCAL CBS 2 LA

LOS ANGELES – Gas prices climbed by about a penny a day in most Southern California areas over the past week as Memorial Day travelers filled up for their trips, according to the Auto Club’s Weekend Gas Watch.

The average price for self-serve regular gasoline in California is $4.88, which is seven cents higher than last week. The average national price is $3.57, which is the same as a week ago.

The average price of self-serve regular gasoline in the Los Angeles-Long Beach area is $4.95 per gallon, which is eight cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.25 lower than last year. In San Diego, the average price is $4.92, which is seven cents more than last week, three cents higher than last month, and $1.18 lower than last year.

On the Central Coast, the average price is $4.93, which is seven cents higher than last week, five cents higher than last month, and $1.18 lower than last year. In Riverside, the average per-gallon price is $4.85, which is seven cents higher than last week, three cents higher than last month and $1.21 lower than a year ago. In Bakersfield, the $4.86 average price is three cents higher than last week, three cents lower than last month, and $1.27 lower than a year ago today.

“The Auto Club projected that Memorial Day travel among Southern Californians would return to pre-pandemic levels,” said Auto Club spokesperson Doug Shupe. “Los Angeles wholesale gasoline prices moved up sharply in May before the holiday, but have dropped back down in the past week, indicating that current supplies are meeting the demand and possibly signalling the end of pump price increases for now.”

The Auto Club reminds drivers of the following tips to save money on gas:

  • If you use premium unleaded fuel, make sure it is required for your vehicle, not just recommended. The Auto Club’s Automotive Research Center found that vehicles with recommended premium fuel performed safely with regular unleaded gasoline.
  • Make sure your tires are properly maintained and inflated to the correct level.
  • Maintain your car according to the manufacturer’s recommendations. Regular service will ensure optimum fuel economy.
  • Avoid “jackrabbit” starts and hard accelerations. These actions greatly increase fuel consumption.
  • Slow down and drive the speed limit. Fuel economy peaks around 50 mph on most cars, then drops off as speed increases. Reducing freeway speeds by 5 to 10 mph can increase fuel economy by as much as 14%.
  • Use cruise control on the highway to help maintain a constant speed and save fuel. However, never use cruise control on slippery roads because you could lose control of the vehicle.
  • Minimize your use of air conditioning.
  • Avoid extended idling to warm up the engine, even in colder temperatures. It’s unnecessary and wastes fuel.
  • Remove unnecessary and heavy items from your car.
  • Minimize your use of roof racks and remove special carriers when not in use.
  • Download the AAA App to find the cheapest gas prices near you. 

The Weekend Gas Watch monitors the average price of gasoline. As of 9 a.m. on June 1, averages are:

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San Bernardino County

City of Redlands, California won’t be flying a Pride Flag during June

If the policy had been approved, it would have been the third year the pride flag would have flown at City Hall in June



Redlands City Hall (Photo Credit: City of Redlands, California/Facebook)

REDLANDS, Calif. – A protracted and contentious battle to alter the city’s existing flag policy has left this San Bernardino municipality as one of only a few jurisdictions in the state that will not being displaying the LGBTQ+ Pride flag during Pride month this June.

Earlier this month, the city council in a 3-2 vote, rejected a change to allow the display of any flag other than the national flag, state, local and the POW/MIA flags. Consideration of a resolution to amend the City’s Flag Display Policy, which was continued from the March 21 City Council meeting at which the council deadlocked on the matter ending in a 2-2 tie, was fairly acrimonious with public comments harshly critiquing and change to allow the Pride flag being flown.

Many of the comments included a variation on the sentiment of “Sexual preference has no business in the displays of city and state.” Other were a bit more harsh stating opposition such comments such as “No flag that represents sex with minors, or any other political flag should be flown along side the US and State flag.”

Others attacked Redlands City Council Member Denise Davis, the city’s first openly LGBTQ council member. In addition to the opposition, there were more than 20 members of the public who spoke in favor of the raising of the rainbow flag for the month of June and also advocated calls for greater inclusivity of the LGBTQIA community in the city.

The city had in previous years flown the Pride flag during June. But after Redlands Mayor Eddie Tejeda voted against revising the policy, the audience loudly chanted “coward.”

“It is my opinion that if we adopt changes to our flag policy, that we do so at our own risk … In this case, it will demonstrate favor of one group over others,” Tejeda said. “For these reasons, I will change my vote and not support changing our flag policy.”

In an interview with KTLA, the city’s queer councilmember, Davis, told the station she believes the decision sends the wrong message.

 “I think that those visual cues of inclusion are really important to a community that has been historically marginalized,” Davis said.

If the policy had been approved, it would have been the third year the pride flag would have flown at City Hall in June, said Traci Lowenthal.

“To fly the pride flag this year feels especially important,” Lowenthal said. “At least 417 anti-LGBTQ bills have been introduced in state legislatures across the U.S. That is an all-time high. Whether banning healthcare or discussions of LGBTQ identity in classrooms, our LGBTQ community members receive one clear message over and over again: ‘You are not wanted.’ “

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Los Angeles County

Summer Classes at LA County Parks!

Our quick and easy 24/7 online registration system Active Net allows you to manage everyone’s schedule through a single household account



Photo Credit: County of Los Angeles

LOS ANGELES – Don’t miss out on this unique opportunity to learn something new, make new friends and discover new talents.


Summer CCP 3

Our quick and easy 24/7 online registration system Active Net allows you to manage everyone’s schedule through a single household account. Sign up for Summer Classes for yourself, partner and children from your smartphone or computer. To learn more about Active Net, visit

Follow LA County Parks on social media: Facebook and Twitter/Instagram/TikTok @lacountyparks. Share your experience using #LearnSomethingNew at #LACountyParks.

For more information, please contact [email protected].

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Los Angeles County

Study: Awareness condoms cannot be used as evidence for arrest 

Researchers interviewed 25 adults about their experiences in sex work, including interactions with law enforcement




LOS ANGELES – California Senate Bill 233, which went into effect in January 2020, ensures that the possession of condoms or HIV prophylactics cannot be used as evidence to arrest or prosecute a person for sex work.
However, a new study of people engaged in sex work in Los Angeles County from the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center and the Williams Institute at UCLA School of Law finds that 80% of respondents were unaware of the law. In addition, about 80% carried condoms while working despite the perceived risk of criminalization.
Researchers interviewed 25 adults about their experiences in sex work, including interactions with law enforcement, sexual risk behaviors, and condom-carrying practices. Respondents reported learning about the risk of carrying condoms from their own interactions with law enforcement and from their peers engaged in sex work.
While a few respondents said they avoided carrying condoms due to their concerns about police interactions, the majority still carried condoms as a way to resist police control and to protect their health, the health of their clients, community, and colleagues in sex work.
“Most of the people surveyed were aware of being targeted for sex work by law enforcement if they carried condoms at a time when condoms could no longer be used as evidence,” said lead author Ayako Miyashita Ochoa, Co-Director of the Southern California HIV/AIDS Policy Research Center at UCLA Luskin School of Public Affairs. “This study highlights the need for interventions that raise awareness of the legal rights of people engaged in sex work and oversight of SB233 implementation among California police officers.”
“People engaged in sex work report that much of the knowledge they have about the risks of carrying condoms came from members of their community,” said study author Bianca D.M. Wilson, Senior Scholar of Public Policy at the Williams Institute. “It is important that people engaged in sex work lead interventions, advocacy, and outreach efforts to ensure that accurate and current information is disseminated.”
This project was made possible by support from Sex Workers Outreach Project Los Angeles (SWOPLA) and East LA Women’s Center. Support was also provided by the Los Angeles County Department of Public Health’s Office of Women’s Health and Unique Woman’s Coalition.

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West Hollywood

WeHo Pride 2023 kicks off Friday, June 2

WeHo Pride Parade will Step-Off at 12 p.m. (Noon) on Sunday, June 4



WeHo Pride Parade 2022 (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

WEST HOLLYWOOD – This second year of the City of West Hollywood’s own annual Pride celebration kicks off Pride month with music, arts, the parade, and a host of other activities. Starting off on Friday, June 2 to celebrate WeHo Pride Weekend, WeHo Pride presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD in a free show featuring Idina Menzel, Jessie Ware, Shangela, and Tinashe beginning at 6 p.m.

OUTLOUD at WeHo Pride presents the Ticketed Music Festival on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4. Produced by JJLA, the music series will feature headliners Grace Jones, Carly Rae Jepsen, Orville Peck, Passion Pit, and many more artists.

The Free WeHo Pride Street Fair and Women’s Freedom Festival begins at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 with the Annual Dyke March at 6 p.m.

Free WeHo Pride Arts Festival and Community Group Event Programming Continues through Thursday, June 30

Photo provided courtesy of the City of West Hollywood (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)
  • WeHo Pride Weekend will take place on Friday, June 2, 2023, Saturday, June 3, 2023, and Sunday, June 4, 2023 in and around West Hollywood Park, located at 647 N. San Vicente Boulevard. For all the latest #WeHoPride information, visit and follow @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook.
  • WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD will feature Idina Menzel, Jessie Ware, Shangela, and Tinashe with additional performances by JORDY, Tolliver, and DJ Venessa Michaels beginning at 6 p.m. on Friday, June 2. After several weeks of advance complimentary ticket registrations, capacity has been reached for WeHo Pride Presents Friday Night at OUTLOUD. Unfortunately, no additional RSVPs can be accepted for Friday Night at OUTLOUD entry. For additional information about other free WeHo Pride Weekend programs, visit and for information about Saturday and Sunday music festival details and tickets, visit OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride at  
  • The free WeHo Pride Street Fair and Women’s Freedom Festival begin at 12 p.m. on Saturday, June 3 and the annual Dyke March will begin at 6 p.m. on Saturday, June 3. The Street Fair is located along Santa Monica Boulevard between Hancock Avenue and La Peer Drive. The Women’s Freedom Festival will feature emerging LGBTQ and BIPOC women and non-binary musicians, comedians, poets, and activists will take place at the Community Stage, immediately followed by the annual Dyke March. The WeHo Pride Street Fair will continue on Sunday, June 4. More information is available at
  • WeHo Pride Weekend will feature the ticketed OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival and concert experience produced by JJLA at West Hollywood Park on Saturday, June 3 and Sunday, June 4 featuring a star-studded, high-energy line-up celebrating and advocating for queer and allied voices in music. Headliners include Grace Jones, Carly Rae Jepsen, Orville Peck, Santigold, and Passion Pit along with dozens more. Plus DJs, drag, and dancing all weekend long. Full artist lineup, event, and ticket information is available by visiting Follow OUTLOUD on Instagram and Facebook @OfficiallyOUTLOUD.
  • On Sunday, June 4, 2023, thousands of people will gather in West Hollywood for the annual WeHo Pride Parade, an imaginative and colorful tradition along Santa Monica Boulevard that embraces LGBTQ+ representation, inclusion, and progress. Full of music, dancing, vibrant floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the Parade celebrates LGBTQ people and their contributions to community and culture. Icons for this year’s WeHo Pride Parade will be RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laith Ashley, Niecy Nash-Betts & Jessica Betts, and Melissa McCarthy. KTLA is the official broadcast partner of the 2023 WeHo Pride Parade. For those not able to attend in-person, tune-in for WeHo Pride Parade coverage on KTLA 5, KTLA + and featuring Cher Calvin, Pedro Rivera, the KTLA Family and surprise special guests. Enjoy OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride and the WeHo Pride Street Fair following the parade.
  • The 40-day WeHo Pride Arts Festival continues through June 30, 2023. Events will be live at various locations throughout the City of West Hollywood and will also feature selected online programming. More information is available at
  • WeHo Pride community group event programming takes place through June 30, 2023. Details about community group events are available at
  • Other highlights of Pride Month in the City of West Hollywood include the annual Pride Pickleball Tournament, a free Gay Men’s Chorus of Los Angeles concert in West Hollywood Park, and a free combined Lesbian Speakers Series/Summer Sounds event at Plummer Park featuring Grammy-nominated singer/songwriter Sophie B. Hawkins. More information is available at

Information about WeHo Pride Weekend street and facility closures is available at

Information about the City’s Pride Ride free WeHo Pride Weekend shuttle service is available at

Additional information about #WeHoPride is posted at and @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook.

For nearly four decades, West Hollywood has been home to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the United States. Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ+ people and allies from around the world traditionally make WeHo their annual destination during Pride season.

WeHo Pride Parade will Step-Off at 12 p.m. (Noon) on Sunday, June 4

The Icons for this year’s WeHo Pride Weekend Pride Parade will be RuPaul’s Drag Race, Laith Ashley, Niecy Nash-Betts & Jessica Betts, and Melissa McCarthy. WeHo Pride will honor these trailblazers and allies as this year’s Icons for their work in bringing the LGBTQ community and social justice issues to the forefront, as well as expanding queer representation in mainstream pop culture.

The WeHo Pride Parade will step-off at 12 p.m. (noon) on Sunday, June 4, 2023 beginning at N. Crescent Heights Boulevard at Santa Monica Boulevard, and will travel westbound along Santa Monica Boulevard into the heart of City’s Rainbow District to N. Robertson Boulevard.

Full of music, dancing, colorful floats, festive marching contingents, and creative flair, the WeHo Pride Parade is free and open to the public embracing LGBTQ representation, inclusion, and progress.

WeHo Pride Parade 2022 (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

KTLA is the official broadcast partner of the 2023 WeHo Pride Parade. For those not able to attend in-person, tune-in for WeHo Pride Parade coverage on KTLA 5, KTLA + and featuring Cher Calvin, Pedro Rivera, the KTLA Family, and surprise special guests. 

“The City of West Hollywood is pleased to kick off another WeHo Pride celebration filled with engaging activities and plenty of opportunities to celebrate the LGBTQ community,” said City of West Hollywood Mayor Sepi Shyne. “Our WeHo Pride Parade Icons embody queer joy and fierce allyship by creating spaces where our community can be celebrated, whether that’s on the red carpet or directly through their art and advocacy. We’re thrilled to celebrate the impact our Icons have in creating a more evolved and accepting world.”

RuPaul’s Drag Race is being celebrated as this year’s Drag Icon and will join the WeHo Pride Parade on a float accompanied by a number of fan favorites from the RuPaul’s Drag Race franchise.

Long-time host and judge Michelle Visage will be receiving the Drag Icon award on behalf of the franchise. The illustrious Drag Race series has produced some of the most globally famous drag queens, and the City of West Hollywood is thrilled to include Drag Race participants in this year’s parade including Angeria, Gigi Goode, Gottmik, June Jambalaya, Rock M. Sakura, Symone, and more.

Produced by MTV Entertainment Studios and World of Wonder (WOW), the franchise has reshaped international pop culture, earning 27 Emmys, and has created a global network. Fans can catch the current season of RuPaul’s Drag Race All Stars 8 streaming exclusively on Paramount+.

Receiving this year’s Breakthrough Icon award is Laith Ashley, a model, actor, and activist who launched his career with a campaign for Barneys New York in February 2014. As of 2023, Ashley was the male lead in Taylor Swift’s Lavender Haze music video, and in 2017, he was the first transgender man to be featured in an ad campaign for the Diesel brand.

Since then, he has volunteered with nonprofit organizations like FLUX and the transgender division of AIDS Healthcare Foundation (AHF). Before beginning his career in the entertainment industry, Ashley was a counselor for homeless youth in New York City and spearheaded trans sensitivity training in medical facilities and homeless shelters.

He now uses his platform to help inform others about the trans experience and other marginalized groups, as well as advocate for social justice in hopes of a more open, loving, and accepting world.

Actress Niecy Nash-Betts and singer-songwriter Jessica Betts will be honored with the title of Trailblazer Icons for blazing their own trail in Hollywood.

The married couple has made HERstory on their own terms by finding love and leaning in. In 2022, Niecy and Jessica became the first same-sex partners to appear on the cover of Essence magazine. The cover story received a nomination for a 2023 GLAAD Media Award in the category of “Outstanding Print Article.”

Niecy has gained recognition as an Emmy Award®-winning producer and three-time Emmy-nominated actress best known for her roles on Comedy Central’s RENO 911!, ABC’s The Rookie: Feds and Netflix’s Dahmer – Monster: The Jeffrey Dahmer Story. She is also the host of Don’t Forget the Lyrics! on FOX.

Early in her career, Jessica was crowned the winner of Road to Stardom with Missy Elliott. She he has toured with numerous renowned artists and has been inducted into the BET Music Matters showcase.

In recent years Jessica has continued to release music and acted alongside her wife on Comedy Central’s Reno 911!: It’s a Wonderful Heist, TNT’s Claws and ABC’s The Rookie: Feds where she and Niecy played a same-sex couple.

Melissa McCarthy has been named WeHo Pride’s 2023 Ally Icon and is being recognized for her outspoken allyship and celebration of the LGBTQ+ community. Emmy winner and two-time Oscar nominee, McCarthy, known for her roles in Bridesmaids, Can You Ever Forgive Me, Tammy, Ghostbusters, Gilmore Girls, and much more, is a staunch advocate for the LGBTQ community and has recently been very outspoken against the anti-drag laws that are being introduced by state legislatures across the country.

West Hollywood and WeHo Pride

Pride Starts Here. For nearly four decades, the City of West Hollywood has been home to one of the largest Pride celebrations in the nation. Hundreds of thousands of LGBTQ people and allies from around the world traditionally make West Hollywood their regular destination during Pride season.

WeHo Pride Weekend (June 2 – 4) will include a free WeHo Pride Street Fair representing a diverse array of LGBTQ community groups as part of visibility, expression, and celebration; the Women’s Freedom Festival; the annual Dyke March; Friday Night at OUTLOUD; OUTLOUD @ WeHo Pride music festival; and a wide range of community group programming throughout Pride month.

The 40-day WeHo Pride Arts Festival (May 22 – June 30) takes place at various locations throughout West Hollywood, along with selected online programming.

Additional information about #WeHoPride is posted at and @wehopride on Instagram and Facebook.

Since its incorporation in 1984, the City of West Hollywood has become one of the most influential cities in the nation for its outspoken advocacy on LGBTQ issues. No other city of its size has had a greater impact on the national public policy discourse on fairness and inclusiveness for LGBTQ people.

Home to the “Rainbow District” along Santa Monica Boulevard, which features a concentration of historic LGBTQ clubs, restaurants, and retail shops, the City consistently tops lists of “most LGBTQ friendly cities” in the nation.

More than 40 percent of residents in West Hollywood identify as LGBTQ and three of the five members of the West Hollywood City Council are openly gay. The City has advocated for nearly four decades for measures that support LGBTQ individuals and the City is in the vanguard on efforts to gain and protect equality for all people on a state, national, and international level. #WeHoPride @WeHoCity

For more information about WeHo Pride, please contact the City of West Hollywood’s Event Services Division at [email protected].

For people who are Deaf or hard of hearing, please call TTY (323) 848-6496. 

WeHo Pride Parade 2022 (Photo credit: Jon Viscott)

WeHo Pride Weekend Street and Facility Closures

Street and Facility Closure Information:

WeHo Pride reminds the local community and the greater LA region about WeHo Pride-related street and facility closures. Drivers and Metro riders can anticipate increased traffic and commute times; please plan to use alternate routes.

Street Closures:

  • N. San Vicente Boulevard closed from Melrose Avenue to Santa Monica Boulevard from Thursday, June 1, at 7 p.m. through Monday, June 5, at 10 a.m.
  • Santa Monica Blvd (Eastbound) closed from N. La Cienega Boulevard to N. Doheny Drive from Friday, June 2, at 12 p.m. (noon) through Monday, June 5, at 7 a.m.
  • N. Robertson Boulevard closed from Santa Monica Boulevard to Melrose Avenue from Friday, June 2, at 3 p.m. through Monday, June 5 at 7 a.m.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard (Westbound) closed from N. La Cienega Boulevard to N. Doheny Drive from Saturday, June 3, at 6 a.m. through Monday, June 5, at 7 a.m.
  • N. San Vicente Boulevard closed from Santa Monica Boulevard to Cynthia Street from Saturday, June 3, at 6 a.m. through Monday, June 5, at 10 a.m.
  • Santa Monica Boulevard closed from N. Fairfax Avenue to N. Doheny Drive (including side streets one block north and one block south of Santa Monica Boulevard) from Sunday, June 4 at 5 a.m. through Sunday, June 4, at 5 p.m. for the WeHo Pride Parade. Santa Monica Boulevard from N. La Cienega Boulevard to N. Doheny Drive will remain closed though Monday, June 5 at 7 a.m. 

Facility Closures:

The City of West Hollywood will activate its annual Pride Ride free shuttle service during #WeHoPride Weekend.

More information is available at

Parking Information For WeHo Pride Weekend

Permit Parking Requirements are Suspended from 4 p.m. on Friday, June 2 through Monday, June 5 at 7 a.m.  >>> Parking Meters will be Enforced Throughout the Weekend <<<

 Permit parking requirements are lifted for WeHo Pride Weekend from Friday, June 2 at 4 p.m. through Monday, June 5 at 7 a.m., however parking meters will be enforced throughout the weekend. Drivers can anticipate increased traffic and commute times; please plan to use alternate routes based on street and facility closures.

Please note that Santa Monica Boulevard will be closed during the weekend in both directions of traffic and during closures for the WeHo Pride Parade on Sunday, June 4, 2023, there will be limited access to cross Santa Monica Boulevard for those seeking to drive around the City or access parking locations.

Attendees of WeHo Pride Weekend festivities are encouraged to observe the boundaries of the City of West Hollywood when parking; if parking occurs in the City of Los Angeles and/or the City of Beverly Hills, all parking restrictions for those cities must be observed.

Limited paid public parking near the WeHo Pride site in and around West Hollywood Park may be available on a first-come-first-served basis at the Pacific Design Center, located at 8687 Melrose Avenue; Kings Road Parking Structure, located at 8383 Santa Monica Boulevard; and Hancock Parking Structure, located at 901 Hancock Avenue.

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Los Angeles

Pride flag burned at elementary school where protests continue

“We have a real concern over what is going on. We have three teachers who are LGBTQ at that campus. And two parents are LGBTQ”



Progress Pride Flag hangs outside a classroom at Saticoy Elementary School, replacing a smaller version destroyed in an arson hate crime. (Photo credit: Renato Lira San Fernando Valley LGBTQ Center)

NORTH HOLLYWOOD, Calif. – The Los Angeles Police Department confirmed that a small LGBTQ+ Pride flag located outside of a classroom at Saticoy Elementary School was destroyed in an act of arson. The crime is now is being investigated as a possible hate crime, according to an LAPD spokesperson.

First reported by The Daily News, Deputy Chief Alan Hamilton of the LAPD’s Valley Bureau told journalist Steve Scauzillo: “The investigation is ongoing. It is a vandalism hate crime. The hate crime is still significant but it is a misdemeanor,” he said on May 27.

A group of parents have taken to social media and distribute flyers to protest a scheduled June 2, LGBTQ+ Pride event at the school located at 7850 Ethel Avenue in North Hollywood.

The group called for other parents to protest outside of the school on June 2 at the start of the school day. “We respect everyone, but some things are appropriate for children (of) that age, and some things are not,” George Dzhabroyan, who is among the Saticoy parents unhappy with the school, told KTLA 5 on May 24. “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.”

The blackened planter and burned flag were discovered by school personnel on Monday, May 22, at 6:30 a.m., Hamilton said. He did not know when the planter and flag were burned and there are no suspects, he said.

According to The Daily News, a member of the group, Saticoy Elementary Parents, claims that no one from the group was responsible for the act of arson.

Ana, a parent in the group who asked that her last name not be published in the interest of her family’s safety, said she does not believe any member of the group is responsible for the possible hate crime, the Daily News reported.

“None of us parents are aware of who the person might have been who set the flag on fire,” she said. “None of us would jump the fence or set the flag on fire because we don’t want to bring that negativity to the school where our children are.”

A spokesperson for the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD) confirmed that the event being protested by the group will include a book reading by faculty of British author Mary Hoffman titled ‘The Great Big Book of Families. The book covers families of different colors, single parents, grandparents, two mothers, two fathers, and adoptive families.  It also addresses family sizes, different homes, different ways to go to school, different ways parents work, the holidays families take, the food people eat, clothes, pets, and hobbies.

The school also has an assembly planned for that day.

The executive director of the San Fernando Valley LGBTQ Center, Renato Lira, expressed concern over this latest incident: “We have a real concern over what is going on. We have three teachers who are LGBTQ at that campus. And two parents are LGBTQ who bring their kids to that school.”

Lira and the Center donated a full size Progress Pride flag for display and told the paper that volunteers from the Center will be present on the event this Friday. He added: “We raised that flag to let them know we are going to be stronger and united,” he said.

Lira pointed out that whoever burned the flag showed disrespect for LGBTQ parents, teachers and the community. “They should not be doing that, whoever they are,” he said.

The Los Angeles Unified School District did not respond to a request by the Blade for comment.

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