California Senate Passes Bill Barring School Boards From Banning Gender, Race-Related Material
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California lawmakers passed a bill last week that prevents public school boards from banning gender and race-related books and educational material, and Governor Gavin Newsom is expected to sign it into law within the next month.

Newsom showed support for AB 1078, which would upend the tradition of locally controlled schools — and prevent school boards in conservative areas from cutting out content they deem objectionable — after the state Senate passed the bill largely along party lines.

“California is the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them,” Newsom said, according to KTLA. “All students deserve the freedom to read and learn about the truth, the world, and themselves.”

Democrat State Assemblyman Corey Jackson introduced the bill, titled “Instructional materials and curriculum: diversity.” in February. School boards that ban state-approved material related to Black, Latino, Asian, Native American, and LGBTQ topics could face financial penalties.

“We’re taking a firm stand against book banning in California’s schools, ensuring that our students have access to a broad range of educational materials that accurately represent the rich cultural and racial diversity of our society,” Jackson said.

Some conservative areas and lawmakers of the state argue the law strips power from parents and local school boards in the ongoing culture war that pushes critical race and radical gender theory-related material onto the youth.

“We’re not having the conversation at the core of the issue, which is age-appropriate materials,” Republican State Senator Rosilicie Ochoa Bogh (Yucaipa) reportedly said Thursday.

And Republican State Senator Kelly Seyarto of Murrieta reportedly said supporters of the bill have blown opposition to it “way out of proportion.”

“Parents should have a right to be able to go up to their school board and voice their concern about the content of the material they’re being taught,” Seyarto said.

Lawmakers passed the bill as Temecula Valley Unified School District had to reverse course to adopt a state-approved curriculum the school board initially rejected in July after Newsom threatened a $1.5 million fine and legal “repercussions.”

Specifically, some parents took issue with lessons about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California. Notably, Milk had a series of sexual relationships with young boys when he was in his 30s and was accused of rape, The Daily Wire reported. Other LGBT content parents felt was age-inappropriate included the mention of the Gay Liberation Front, which parents connected to NAMBLA, a pedophilia advocacy group. They also found some content ideological or politically biased.

However, due to mounting legal pressures, an emergency board meeting was called on short notice, and four of the five board members who could attend the meeting eventually voted unanimously to approve the curriculum for the coming school year.

Controversial material about Harvey Milk and other LGBT-related content has been pushed to the end of the school year and will likely be removed entirely and replaced.

A Daily Wire investigative report found that Governor Newsom and his wife, Jennifer Siebel Newsom, are personally responsible for some divisive content in schools and could stand to profit both from the bill’s “representation” provisions and the restrictions on removing content.

Local media reported that Newsom is expected to sign the measure within the next month, which would immediately go into effect as California students continue with their academic calendar.

Amanda Prestigiacomo and Luke Rosiak contributed to this report. 

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The Daily Wire   >  Read   >  California Senate Passes Bill Barring School Boards From Banning Gender, Race-Related Material