The Beverly Hills City Council will consider an ordinance Tuesday banning protests within 300 feet of a middle or elementary school during daytime hours. The ordinance would also prohibit demonstrators from following students to or from school.
The motion was sparked by a disturbing incident last week in which anti-vaccine protesters followed and harassed young children on their way to Hawthorne Elementary School. The protesters shouted at the students and their parents, calling masks “child abuse” in an ultimate display of irony. One protester can be heard saying “this is rape, they’re trying to rape our children” as the six and seven-year-olds look on.
"I was gravely disappointed in the events that unfolded," said Superintendent Michael Bregy in a statement. "The behavior exhibited by grown adults is nothing short of atrocious. Intimidating our youngest members of society, threatening students and making them feel unsafe, is unacceptable."
The harassment of children is a tactic increasingly used by anti-vaccine and anti-mask protesters. Last month, demonstrators showed up at Huntington Beach High School to protest the face covering policy there. Video of the protest showed them heckling students as they were let out of class, with one man mocking them as “sheep” and “zombies” being indoctrinated into communism.