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to Section One | to Arts & Entertainment
posted Friday, September 6, 2019 - Volume 47 Issue 36
GSA in Bakersfield invaded by MAGA students
Section One
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GSA in Bakersfield invaded by MAGA students

School investigating as harassment incident

by Mike Andrew - SGN Staff Writer

Student members of the Gay-Straight Alliance (GSA) at Frontier High School in Bakersfield, California, found their first meeting of the school year invaded by people waving MAGA flags and shouting anti-LGBT slurs.

According to social media posts, the invaders - other students who belonged to Future Farmers of America - followed the GSA members out to the parking lot when the GSAers retreated to avoid a confrontation.

School officials suspended the invaders and said they would investigate the incident as malicious harassment.

'The Kern High School District and Frontier High School recognize that students have varying viewpoints and opinions,' a September 3 statement from school officials read.

'One of the goals of the educational process is to teach students how to communicate respectfully with each other.'

The district added that the incident is 'currently being investigated,' and that it would take 'appropriate follow-up measures' after the investigation is complete.

Some parents expressed anger and frustration on social media.

'My husband is ready to go down to the school (I'm disabled.) If we need to go en masse, we should,' one parent wrote in a Facebook comment.

'My LGBT kid has a history teacher that is openly MAGA at Frontier... this [is] populism in their culture and they need to address that.'

Another parent claimed that tension exists between 'FFA and any kids they've determined as 'liberal,' and that they've targeted the LGBTQ community.

But 'not my kid and his friends,' she continued. 'I will not go down without a fight. I want these kids punished.'

The Bakersfield chapter of PFLAG said in a statement that it was 'saddened to learn about the incident.'

One of the students accused of harassing the GSA members, identified by local media only as 'Matthew,' told 23ABC News that he and his friends weren't looking for any trouble. They just joined the meeting out of curiosity, he claimed.

'It wasn't just us saying stuff to them and it wasn't just them saying stuff to us. We were all screaming at each other,' said Matthew, who was suspended for harassment, intimidation, and sexual harassment.

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