Governor Gavin Newsom of California, known for criticizing conservative states over their exclusion of LGBTQ curricula, has now set his sights on local school districts within his own state. Newsom is backing a bill, AB 1078, introduced by Assemblymember Corey Jackson, which would grant the state the power to intervene in districts and impose fines if their curricula lack materials on ethnic groups and “LGBTQ+ Americans.”
Even within the left-wing legislature of California, where Democrats hold a supermajority in both houses, the bill was deemed too extreme. Nevertheless, Newsom sees this as an opportunity to take action against conservative districts.
One specific target of Newsom’s attention is the public school district in Temecula, Southern California, where conservative members on the school board have opposed the use of LGBTQ+ materials. The debate intensified when the board rejected proposed instructional material mentioning Harvey Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, who was tragically assassinated in 1978. Newsom had previously proclaimed May 22 as Harvey Milk Day to honor his activism.
Joseph Komrosky, the conservative school board president, referred to Milk as a “pedophile,” leading to public feuds between him and Newsom. In response, Newsom has announced that the state will secure textbooks for the district in time for the upcoming school year. Furthermore, Newsom expressed his commitment to fining the Temecula district for non-compliance, despite not yet possessing the power to do so, raising concerns about potential negative consequences for the students.
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Opposition to the inclusion of LGBTQ materials, particularly those related to discussions of sexuality, has generated strong resistance in certain local districts. In June, school board meetings near Los Angeles witnessed heated conflicts surrounding this issue.
What are your thoughts on Governor Gavin Newsom’s proposed fines for school districts that resist LGBTQIA2S curriculum? Do you believe such fines are necessary to promote inclusivity, or do you see them as an overreach of governmental power? Share your opinions and engage in the conversation below. Your perspective matters as we navigate this complex issue together.