HomeSchool Reform NewsCalifornia Gov. Gavin Newsom Threatens $1.5 Million Fine, School District Adopts Curriculum

California Gov. Gavin Newsom Threatens $1.5 Million Fine, School District Adopts Curriculum

California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatens $1.5 million fine, and a school district adopts a  curriculum it twice rejected.

By Eileen Griffin

After California Gov. Gavin Newsom threatened to fine the Temecula Valley Unified School District $1.5 million if they did not adopt a state-mandated social studies curriculum, the school board reversed course.

An emergency meeting was called so the Temecula school board could vote again on the state mandated social studies curriculum, ABC Channel 7 in Los Angeles reported. In the meeting, which lasted until midnight, the board eventually voted unanimously to accept the curriculum, on July 21.

Objections to Sexual Content

The social studies textbook Social Studies Alive teaches students about “the role and contributions of people with disabilities; lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans; and other ethnic and cultural groups.”

Parents in the district objected to the sexual content integrated into social studies textbooks intended for first through fifth grade students. Some parents are concerned the program focuses on social issues rather than social studies.

While accepting the curriculum Friday night, school board members said they would remove information referencing gay rights activist Harvey Milk.

After previously voting to reject the curriculum twice, Newsom threatened to fine the Temecula school district $1.5 million for refusing use the textbook, The Orange County Register reported.

Local Control Threatened

At recent school board meetings, parents spoke up to support the conservative majority fighting against the governor’s mandate, the Los Angeles Times reported. Some called Newsom a “tyrant” who should not be asserting himself into decisions that are typically handled at the local level.

Opponents of the curriculum claim that the LGBTQ+ history included in the social studies textbook is “pornographic” and “obscene.”

Tim Thompson, a Temecula preacher, spoke in support of the board members.

“I know you’re doing what’s right for our community when we have the governor making threats against our community,” Thompson said. “One of the things we’ve got to remember is we do have a thing called local control.”

The book includes a flattering history of Harvey Milk, the first gay man elected to public office in California. Temecula parent, attorney, and founder of California Parents Union Tracy Henderson told the school board that the textbook objections go well beyond the story of Harvey Milk.

“You are being targeted by government bullies and it is imperative that you stand your ground. California and the nation are watching this school board,” Henderson said. “Our California government is once again trying to mislead educators.”

Parents Find Curriculum Offensive

Henderson objected to the oppressive intervention of the governor as well as the offensive content of the curriculum.

“You are trying to exclude curriculum that deals with NAMBLA (North American Man/ Boy Love Association) and Communism,” said Henderson. “You are well within your authority to exclude this curriculum.”

[NAMBLA is an organization dedicated to pedophilia. They would like to see the elimination of all laws related to child consent and the de-criminalization of adult sexual exploitation of children.]

“The irony of this is that Newsom is trying to get you to do things that are illegal. Pedophilia, molestation is illegal,” Henderson said. “Communism and Socialism are prohibited by the education code. It’s illegal. You can’t do that in schools. If you disseminate child sex acts you could be charged with sexual exploitation and that’s what Newsom wants you to do.”

“Newsom—a national voice against red state policies—was so inspired to take on Temecula conservatives that he has publicly vowed to hold the school district accountable on the basis of a law that does not yet exist,” Mackenzie Mays wrote for the LA Times.

Newsom is marshalling AB 1078 through the Democrat controlled legislature. It would give the governor more power over school districts. It would give the state authority to purchase their preferred curriculum and fine any school not using it.

Newsom Calls Them ‘Extremists’

Newsom criticized Temecula’s conservative school board members in a press release.

“The three political activists on the school board have yet again proven they are more interested in breaking the law than doing their jobs of educating students so the state will do their job for them,” the statement reads.

“The state is trying to limit the authority and autonomy of school boards while pushing sexualized garbage on your kids,” wrote Katy Grimes for California Globe.

The textbook is already used in social studies classes in hundreds of California schools.

After the vote accepting the curriculum was announced, Newsom issued a statement calling Temecula board members and parents, “extremists” and “demagogues” threatening a civil rights investigation.

“This has never been about parents’ rights. It’s not even about Harvey Milk who appears nowhere in the textbook students receive,” the statement reads. “This is about extremists’ desire to control information and censor the materials used to teach our children. Demagogues who whitewash history, censor books, and perpetuate prejudice never succeed. Hate doesn’t belong in our classrooms and because of the board majority’s antics, Temecula has a civil rights investigation to answer for.”

For more School Reform News.

Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin
Eileen Griffin, MBA, Ph.D., is a contributing editor at Heartland Daily News and writes on a wide range of topics, from crime and criminal justice to education and religious freedom. Griffin worked for more than 20 years in leadership roles in the financial industry and is the author of books on business and politics.


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