California School Reverses LGBT Mandate Decision

A California school district reversed its decision to reject the use of an LGBT curriculum, despite pressure from the state to implement it. The decision could represent a challenge for grassroots efforts by individual school districts to deny sweeping mandates from Sacramento.

The Temecula Valley Unified School District decided to teach the curriculum which would teach the school material including former San Francisco official Harvey Milk. The district’s school board voted 3-2 to make the change.

The district had originally rejected the curriculum in May and again last Tuesday.

However, California Gov. Gavin Newsom (D) announced last Wednesday that school districts that did not comply with the school subject demand would be fined $1.5 million. 

The governor called the three members who voted to reject the curriculum “political activists” and said that they had “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 Temecula Valley Unified School District reversed its earlier decision that Friday.

Local residents protested the inclusion of Milk into their school curricula. The activist was the first openly gay man to serve on the San Francisco Board of Supervisors. However, residents cited Milk’s alleged relationship with a minor while he was in his 30s.

The school district referenced concerns about the role of Milk in teaching 4th graders. One protester said at the meeting that the school district should give students “the sincere milk of the word of God.”

In the aftermath of the vote, Newsom said that the district’s “students will receive the basic materials needed to learn.” 

He added that the reversal bares “the true motives of those who opposed this curriculum.” The governor said that it was tied to a “desire to control information.”

The school board’s president said after the Friday decision that the school would work on “the potential adoption of curriculum that meets all state and federal mandates.”