The decade's most triggering comedy
Following pressure from Governor Gavin Newsom (D-CA) — including the threat of a $1.5 million fine and legal “repercussions” — a Southern California school district has reversed course to adopt a state-approved curriculum the school board initially rejected.
Three newly-elected board members for the Temecula Valley Unified School District — Joseph Komrosky, Jen Wiersma, and Danny Gonzalez — have been repeatedly personally targeted by Newsom since they voted to delay the deployment of a curriculum for elementary school students backed by the governor.
The governor has likened the trio to “demagogues who whitewash history, censor books, and perpetuate prejudice,” bragged about a civil rights investigation launched by the state’s attorney general back in June into why the board rejected the curriculum, and vowed to send the district a bill for $1.6 million, along with a $1.5 million fine for initially refusing the textbooks.
“The governor’s statements are outrageous, and it has been a surreal thing for me to live through this with the amount of threats and intimidation and the bullying that’s gone on, whether it’s monetarily through a fine or a lawsuit and the name calling, it’s egregious,” Wiersma told The Daily Wire in a phone interview. “There’s no other way around it.”
A school board in Temecula decided to reject a textbook because it mentioned Harvey Milk.
CA is stepping in.
We’re going to purchase the book for these students—the same one that hundreds of thousands of kids are already using.
If these extremist school board members won’t do… pic.twitter.com/r2iirL8b5v
— Gavin Newsom (@GavinNewsom) July 13, 2023
The board voted 3-2 to delay the deployment of the curriculum last Tuesday, largely due to parents complaining that some of the content was too sexualized for elementary school students. Specifically, some parents took issue with lessons about Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be 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. 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.
One Temecula parent, who is also a U.S. Marine veteran, voiced outrage at Newsom during the contentious nine-hour long board meeting last week.
“I was once willing to die in a foreign land for what I believed this country to be,” he said. “So now that the government has brought this social war to my front door, you couldn’t begin to comprehend how hard I will dig my heels and fight for what I know to be right.”
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Another parent expressed his dissatisfaction with Newsom.
“Boys cannot be girls. Girls cannot be boys. Men cannot get pregnant,” the parent said. “You’re justifying the sexual perversion of young children. Gov. Gavin Newsom, Pharaoh of California, wants to spend 1.6 million dollars on textbooks in Temecula to facilitate the deviant sexual behavior of Harvey Milk. Why? Because children must learn gay pride. … That’s not the responsibility of the woke pharaoh of California, parental rights come from God, not man.”
But due to mounting legal pressures, an emergency board meeting was called on short notice Friday, and the four out of the five board members who were able to attend the meeting eventually voted unanimously to approve the curriculum for the coming school year.
Notably, the most controversial material, a chapter for fourth graders on Harvey Milk and other LGBT-related content, has been pushed to the end of the school year and will likely be completely removed and replaced.
Numerous school board members have said they needed to quickly green-light the state-backed books, or the district would be open to legal action. Specifically, they worried the district would be in violation of California’s Williams Act, which mandates students have equal access to instructional materials and quality teachers.
Komrosky, the Temecula school board president, talked about the pressures from the state when discussing the recent curriculum approval. Newsom, Attorney General Rob Bonta, and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond are “salivating” for the board to make a mistake, Komrosky said, adding that he acted to “avoid litigation.”
“The story is that we did a 180 flip and that’s not the case,” Wiersma told The Daily Wire. “What we decided to do is take in the curriculum and basically rewrite a fourth grade module and we’ll include LGBT people — because you need to, as per the FAIR act — but it will move into a realm that is less controversial. We’re gonna work the best we can to ask for modifications and work to provide the community with a standard that they’re more comfortable with.”
Newsom continued to attack the three new board members despite their vote Friday, charging that this latest vote exposed their “true motives” and this battle was “never about parental rights,” but “extremists’ desire to control information and censor the materials used to teach our children.” The Democrat also claimed that because of the board members’ “antics,” “Temecula has a civil rights investigation to answer for.”
Wiersma said that, legally, this curriculum can “evolve,” and she will continue to make sure parents’ voices are heard and reflected in the content their children are exposed to.
“This is a call out to parents to keep moving, keep getting involved, get on committees,” she said. “Keep writing letters to your school boards, keep showing up, because you will make a difference even though people like Governor Newsom may wanna shut you down.”
As for Newsom, Wiersma said the American people should take a second look at his actions.
“If you’re looking at someone who wants to run for the President of the United States, people better step back and question this, because local authority is the way our founders set up this country,” the board trustee said. “Individual communities should be able to speak into things without a governor tossing out the power of his office and applying this kind of pressure to moms and dads and people who step up to run for the school board.”