ROANOKE COUNTY, Va. (WFXR) — A peaceful protest was held at Glen Cove Elementary in support of LGBTQIA+ educators who are facing scrutiny from some Roanoke County parents.

This protest comes after four parents went in front of the school board last week saying that some Glen Cove educators were “indoctrinating LGBTQIA” topics on elementary school students.

Organizer of the “Peaceful Demonstration” and Glen Cove parent, Samantha Christen, says this backlash comes from a place of hate.

“In my child’s school, in some of your child’s school, the hate and the lack of support, for what? people that love one another?” said Christen.

Christen was joined by several other parents who say they support the teachers under scrutiny.

“It was pretty hurtful to hear against people we’ve known as educators to our children, that we’ve known to be very supportive to all of the kids in the school, to be attacked in such a way,” said one Glen Cove parent.

Local lawmakers are also taking a stand, Roanoke City Council members, Luke Priddy and Joe Cobb, were both at the demonstration. Priddy is a former student of Roanoke County Public Schools and says the community needs to step in.

“To stand in solidarity with the teachers who were defamed, frankly, at a recent school board meeting, by being called inappropriate names like pedophiles and groomers, just for displaying affirming materials in their classrooms like rainbows or other things that are in support of the LGBT community,” said Priddy.

However, not everyone in attendance was in support of this demonstration. Sue Wertz is one community member who says elementary school-aged children are too young to be exposed to LGBTQIA+ topics.

“I feel that they are at a very tender age, and their little minds are so vulnerable for things that they’re just not ready for,” said Wertz.

Wertz adds that while she does not agree with the harsh language used against teachers at the school board meeting, she does say parents should be vigilant about what their kids are being exposed to.

Councilman Priddy said children need to know they are accepted.

“People don’t decide where they’re born. Children don’t decide where they go to school. They need to know that there is someone that loves and accepts them wherever they attend,” said Priddy.

Roanoke County Public Schools released a statement this afternoon saying that while they cannot comment on specifics of the situation, their focus is on students’ learning and well-being, adding that schools should be a safe place for all students.

The next school board meeting is coming up on June 15.