lgbtq students
Photo: Shutterstock

Right-wing groups such as the Proud Boys have recently targeted Drag Queen Story Hours for harassment, and now groups meant to act as safe spaces for LGBTQ youth are increasingly coming under assault.

The Washington Post reports on a Washington state elementary school that started a "safe space" group for all students in the fourth and fifth grade who wanted to create “a welcoming, judgment free space" for LGBTQ youth.

“We are accepting of all identities and will encourage students to fully express their individuality,” a poster said.

A photo of this poster soon went up on the neighborhood app Nextdoor and led to community outrage and panic.

“Hang on folks, we are in for a ride you don’t want your kids on,” wrote the author of the post, who included the principal's name and contact information.

IN OTHER NEWS: Cassidy Hutchinson is 'what prosecutors dream of in a witness': CNN's Elie Honig

The Safe Space club adviser was a mother of LGBTQ children, and many angry parents accused her of trying to "indoctrinate" the children. Calls have been pouring into the school from people who don't even have children in the school.

Months later, the school board required that any student participating in the Safe Space club show a note from parents that it's acceptable. That increased panic because many students who are dealing with their sexuality or gender identity don't want to talk to their parents.

"These groups have been common and accepted in schools for two decades, offering a place for LGBTQ students and allies to gather. But now, some conservative parents, pundits and politicians are alleging without presenting evidence that GSA clubs are sites of political indoctrination, where students are encouraged to assume LGBTQ identities without their parents’ knowledge," the Post explained.

Another school district, this one outside of Monterey, California, was forced to disband a middle-school LGBTQ club after conservatives claimed the school advisers were helping students become gay or trans. The same things have happened "in at least two districts, one in Iowa and one in Pennsylvania, administrators launched investigations and in the latter case suspended" the club. A club in Tennessee was dropped entirely after parents claimed that "the club would 'indoctrinate' students and called the club’s proposed sponsor a 'predator.'"

Kendrick Washington, who directs policy advocacy at the American Civil Liberties Union of Washington, told the Post that conservative parents are trying to pretend LGBTQ alliances are “some kind of sex club,” when the reality is they are “actually all about kids finding community.”

“Instead of it being, ‘LGBTQ-plus is a sin or a choice or a mistake,’ it’s all under the guise of, ‘Parents should know what their kids are doing. They should know they’re in this LGTBQ group.’ But it’s the same bigotry underneath the shiny new surface," Washington explained.

Read the full report at the Post.