Antisemitic, anti-LGBTQ+ fliers left near Edison High School morning after Pride video stirs debate

 LGBTQ+ supporters cheer as a giant rainbow Pride flag hangs from Huntington Beach Pier on May 21.
Local activists and the LGBTQ+ supporters cheer as a giant rainbow Pride flag hangs from the side of Huntington Beach’s pier during a demonstration in Huntington Beach on May 21. People living near Edison High School found fliers demonizing both the LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities Wednesday.
(James Carbone)
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People living near Edison High School found fliers demonizing both the LGBTQ+ and Jewish communities Wednesday, the morning after controversy surrounding a student-produced video promoting Pride month stirred debate at a school board meeting.

The fliers feature a pentagram, star of David and the words “The LGBTQ+ movement is Jewish” in rainbow-colored font. Residents in the area of Hamilton Avenue and Bushard Court found them in plastic bags weighted with rocks to keep them from blowing away in the wind and started bringing copies of the apparent hate speech to patrol officers Wednesday morning, Huntington Beach police spokeswoman Jessica Cuchilla said.

“I want to be abundantly clear, the messaging contained within these fliers is completely unacceptable and does not reflect the values or ideas we believe here in Huntington Beach,” Mayor Tony Strickland wrote in a statement Wednesday. “Hateful rhetoric or prejudice of any kind is inexcusable and we have zero tolerance for it within our community.”


Investigators were working to determine the source of the fliers. Their distribution was limited to a small, “isolated” area, Strickland said.

The neighborhood the antisemitic and anti-LGBTQ+ fliers were found in is about a mile away from Edison High School. The campus recently drew the attention of conservative media outlets critical of a brief video discussing the celebration of Pride month that was played to some students last week.

The video is an episode of a student-produced show called Bolt TV. Some students complained when the topic turned to Pride month, and their teacher responded by admonishing them in a video that has since gone viral, Huntington Beach Mayor Pro Tem Gracey Van Der Mark noted during public comments at a Huntington Beach Union High School District school board meeting Tuesday.

“Rather than listen to his students, the teacher threatened them with supervision and to give them detention the following year,” Van Der Mark said. “At no time was the teacher concerned with the students’ visceral reaction as they watched video clips of couples in intimate positions and poses. In my opinion, it was not the students being inappropriate.”

Van Der Mark was one of four members of the Huntington Beach City Council who voted to stop flying the Pride flag and other nongovernmental symbols from city buildings.

At least one parent who spoke at the meeting described the video as “indoctrination,” eliciting cheers from some in the crowd. He went on to accuse “activist teachers” of attempting to push values onto his children.

Edison student Chris Kluwe noted that the video was made “by students and for students as a regular occurrence at Edison High School.” He described it as an effort to shine a light on members of the student body who often get pushed to the margins.

“This isn’t some state mandate trying to turn your kids gay,” Kluwe said during public comments Tuesday. “This is students recognizing who they are, recognizing their peers.”