ROSEVILLE, Calif. — Controversy continues in Placer County following the release of a video targeting a Loomis pastor and his LGBTQIA+ youth group.
Thursday night, dozens of people showed up to speak out at the Roseville Joint Union High School District (RJUHSD) Board meeting. It's the first meeting since the district released a statement to parents saying, given the pastor's statements in the video and other related concerns, they contacted Child Protective Services and the Roseville Police Department, so they can ensure no students have been harmed.
The meeting ended before it could finish as a yelling match ensued among meeting attendees and a speaker. Parents and students quickly left after one speaker held up what appeared to be a white power hand sign.
The board meeting comes just days after the release of a controversial video involving Loomis Pastor Casey Tinnin, who runs an LGBTQIA+ youth group, called The Landing Spot.
The video was released by Project Veritas, a group that considers itself to be an undercover journalism organization.
Thursday night, people spoke out during the board meeting's public comment period; many expressed support for Tinnin and LGBTQIA+ students.
"I'm here to ask you to practice what you preach about protecting children who already feel outcasted and rejected by all of you. It is also extremely disappointing that this district is giving voice to a group that uses deceit and defamation to push their homophobic narrative," one Antelope High School student said.
"They made a very good man seem like a very bad man. It's complete misinformation," said Alicia Watkins, who told ABC10 she knows Pastor Tinnin. "I know that he is doing really good work."
Other attendees expressed concerns to the board.
"The solution is not putting a wedge between parents and children. Having children lie and attend secret meetings is not the answer," one speaker said during public comment.
This comes weeks after controversy surrounding a youth drag show fundraiser that was set to be held at Roseville High School, but ultimately, the event was canceled after community uproar.
One speaker read a statement on behalf of Pastor Tinnin saying, "Pastor Casey writes: 'I want to tell you tonight that the hate that has been directed at me and my church community this week has been immense. Proud Boys paraded outside my home with a megaphone calling me a 'groomer' and a 'pedophile,' saying 'I should not feel safe in my neighborhood.' There have been death threats, bomb threats.'"
One speaker said he went to Tinnin's house as he addressed the board during public comment saying, "He doesn't belong on campus. He should be banned from every campus. And I'm the guy that went to his house, and I recommend everyone joins me because I'll be there again."
Tinnin's attorney, Kathleen Finnerty, said they are looking into restraining orders and addressed the claims in the video.
"What we're hearing from a lot of people is rumor, innuendo, unfounded facts and although we've heard that it's not anti-LGBTQ, what's interesting is that they seem to draw the conclusion that Pastor Casey is a pedophile just because he is gay," said Finnerty.
She said before any litigation is brought she would like to talk to the school board.
ABC10 has asked the school district what “other related concerns” the district has about Pastor Tinnin, as they mentioned in their Monday email to parents. The district referred back to their Monday email to parents and said the district is going to stick with its original message.
ABC10 also received statements from CPS and Roseville police. Police have told us there’s no active investigation related to the referenced parent communication.