A school board in Southern California has rejected a new social studies curriculum because a teacher’s guide for the textbook mentions Harvey Milk.
“My question is, why even mention a pedophile?” asked Temecula Valley School Board President Dr. Joseph Komrosky, making an unfounded accusation before the vote.
Proud Boys showed up to a contentious school board meeting on “woke” culture that lasted until 2 am.
Milk was the first out elected official in California and was assassinated along with San Francisco Mayor George Moscone in 1978.
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The new social studies curriculum was rejected 3-2.
“I don’t want my 3rd grader studying an LGBTQ issue,” said Jennifer Wiersma, one of the three members who voted against the new curriculum. “I don’t want them going into gender ideology.”
The vote leaves the fate of the social studies program for the district’s 11,000 students in limbo.
“We’ve never experienced this before. I’ve never heard of a top performing district or any district say you know what we are going to withhold these materials,” Edgar Diaz, president of the Temecula Valley Educators Association, told KABC.
California Governor Gavin Newsom expressed outrage over Komrosky’s defamation and the school board’s decision.
“An offensive statement from an ignorant person,” Newsom posted to Twitter. “This isn’t Texas or Florida. In the Golden State, our kids have the freedom to learn.”
“Congrats Mr. Komrosky you have our attention. Stay tuned.”
Newsom’s message for Komrosky follows a letter sent to school leaders across the state last Thursday warning them that attempts to ban books from classrooms and libraries in California could require answering to the attorney general.
“As state leaders elected to represent the values of all Californians, we offer our response in one shared voice,” read the letter addressing book bans from Newsom, State Schools Superintendent Tony Thurmond and Attorney General Rob Bonta. “Access to books – including books that reflect the diverse experiences and perspectives of Californians, and especially, those that may challenge us to grapple with uncomfortable truths – is a profound freedom we all must protect and cultivate.”
Removal of instructional materials could result in school officials being asked to explain their decision-making process to Bonta’s office.
Before the Temecula school board’s vote, the updated coursework was piloted among 1300 students in the district last year.
“We pushed aside political views, examined materials thoroughly taking into account our students, their backgrounds and what our job is in the classroom to uphold the California social studies curriculum and framework,” said Donna Kronenfeld, a 5th-grade teacher who ran the pilot program. “This is something we went through with a fine-tooth comb.”
Diaz says the Temecula Valley Educators Association will hold rallies over the next two weeks to gather community support for the rejected curriculum.
“We’re hoping that the community can come around and say that teachers and students need textbooks and that the trustees should do what they are elected to and provide educators the tools they need, and provide students the ability to have success,” Diaz said.
Jenna Schwartz, founder of Parents Supporting Teachers in the nearby Los Angeles Unified School District, supports Newsom’s approach to the book-banning frenzy.
“I think that our governor and the AG are looking at what’s happening in these red states, and we can see the future,” Schwartz told KCBS. “We know what happens when you dilute education for children. They become uneducated adults. We can’t let that happen here.”