School Board Defies Gavin Newsom, Rejects Curriculum Despite Governor’s Threats

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Reagan Reese Contributor
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A California school board rejected a history curriculum Tuesday that included a biography on Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man to be elected to public office in California, for the second time, despite warnings from Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom, according to Ed Source, an education-focused outlet.

In May, Temecula Valley Unified School Board voted 3-2 to reject the “Social Studies Alive” curriculum for first through fifth graders because it taught about Milk. The board voted 3-2 against the curriculum despite Newsom’s warning that the school district could be punished if the materials are not adopted, according to Ed Source. (RELATED: ‘Pain And Sorrow’: California Students Stage A Walkout After School Board Won’t Fly The Pride Flag)

“When I look at the TCI curriculum I don’t see American exceptionalism,” Jennifer Wiersma, a school board member, told the outlet. “I don’t see all the things we need to see. We are going to hit the standards, but if we are totally going to utilize TCI, we need to talk about bias. I don’t see a fair and balanced viewpoint. I don’t see the civics.”

Newsom’s administration began investigating the school board in June, requesting documents and communications regarding its decision to reject the curriculum. Prior to rejecting the course in May, the school board stated that Milk was a “pedophile” and that the school district could “do better.”

Milk, who served as a San Francisco supervisor, was the state’s first openly gay elected official. Randy Shilts, Milk’s biographer, claimed that at one point Milk was in a relationship with a 16-year-old in the early 1960s when the age of legal consent was 14 in New York.

On July 13, Newsom warned that if the school board fails to adopt the curriculum at its next meeting, the state will use legislation to enact fines, according to a press release. Newsom announced that the state would be buying the social studies material that the school board rejected and providing them to the district.

“The school board’s radicalized majority is willfully violating the law, subverting the will of parents, and forcing children to use an out-of-print textbook from 17 years ago,” Newsom’s press office told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “The Governor will ensure students begin the school year with access to adequate, up-to-date materials and fine the district for breaking the law. Stay tuned.”

Temecula Valley Unified School District did not immediately respond to the DCNF’s request for comment.

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