In a Push for His Woke Agenda, Newsom Forces Books About Harvey Milk Onto Temecula Valley USD

AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster

Despite what is reflected in legacy media, California still has many bastions of red, where conservatism and freedom are preferred and citizens fight to preserve it, rather than the current overreaching governance of progressive Sacramento. One of those bastions is Temecula in Riverside County. In 2021, Riverside County was the only county that voted 100 percent to recall Governor Gavin Newsom, and trust me, Hair Gel is holding a grudge.

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So, on May 16, when the Temecula Valley Unified School District (TVUSD) Board voted to put a pause on a portion of the recommended curriculum for kindergarten through 5th grade because one of the supplemental books referenced gay activist and San Francisco City Commissioner Harvey Milk, Newsom, who has been on a so-called anti-book banning spree, saw an opening. According to the East Bay Times, Board President Dr. Joseph Komrosky, as well as another board member, questioned the inclusion of a known pedophile in a curriculum for young children.

Any sane person would.

“My question is why even mention a pedophile?” Komrosky said. “What does that got to do with our curriculum in schools? That’s a form of activism.”

Board member Danny Gonzalez also called Milk a pedophile at the meeting.

“I find the inclusion of sexually based topics and the glorification of a known pedophile, who happened to be an advocate for gay rights, to 10-year-olds morally reprehensible and inappropriate,” he said.

It was Dr. Komrosky’s remarks that appeared to be the fuel to this fire, as CBS News Los Angeles and other outlets latched on to them and repeated them thusly:

An ugly scene played out at the Temecula Valley School Board meeting as they voted 3-2 to reject an elementary school social studies book that contained information about pioneering California gay rights figure Harvey Milk. The board’s president made a baseless accusation that Milk was a pedophile before voting to ban the book.

“My question is, why even mention a pedophile?” said Board President Dr. Joseph Komrosky.

KCAL News reached out to Komrosky and asked him to provide information related to his claim. However, we did not hear back as of June 1.

It is typical that the California homegrown team/PR arm immediately chose a side, painting the board meeting as an “ugly scene” and dubbing the claim of Milk’s pedophilia a “baseless accusation.” In Randy Shilts 1982 Milk biography, The Mayor of Castro Street, he documents Milk’s predilection for teenage boys, as well as his ongoing relationship with 16-year old Jack Galen McKinley. The age of consent in California at that time was 18.

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Why do you think California Senator Scott Wiener, another openly gay San Francisco politician, worked hard (and continues to work) to create laws lowering the age of consent, whether it be for sex, vaccinations, or transgender surgeries? That slippery slope conservatives keep crying about had its start with lionizing Harvey Milk and making him a martyr. Dr. Komrosky dared to tell the truth about a progressive gay icon, so now, he and the school district have become convenient targets.

After CBS News published its fact-devoid hit piece, Newsom tweeted his first threat at Dr. Komrosky.

This is how Governor Gaslight works. Create an issue where none exists in order to make himself look like a champion. First of all, the rejected book was supplemental material, not even a primary textbook. Secondly it’s not “banned.” If a parent or teacher was interested, they could get it from any educational supplier within or outside of the state. This is the progressive Left, changing the meaning of words in order to suit their agenda.

A few weeks after that meeting, as the East Bay Times further reported, The California Department of Education opened an investigation of the TVUSD, without giving any credible reason for what necessitated it.

The California Department of Education is investigating the Temecula Valley Unified School District, a department spokesperson confirmed Friday, June 9.

Maria Clayton wouldn’t elaborate on the investigation, which comes less than a month after the district board’s conservative majority rejected a social studies curriculum because its supplemental material mentioned LGBTQ civil rights leader Harvey Milk.

It’s unclear when the investigation started, how long it will last or what the probe’s focus is. Temecula school district spokesperson James Evans could not be reached Friday about the investigation. Some Temecula school board members could not be reached for comment Friday.

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Then on June 7, the Affirmative Action California Attorney General Rob Bonta issued a letter to TVUSD demanding to see the documents surrounding the decision-making where they rejected the use of the supplemental material.

We write to express our serious concern regarding the Temecula Valley Unified School District Board of Education (“Board”)’s vote on May 16, 2023 to reject district staff’s recommendation to adopt Social Studies Alive for use as a history-social science program for grades 1 through 5. Consistent with the June 1, 2023 joint letter that Governor Newsom, Attorney General Bonta, and Superintendent of Public Instruction Thurmond sent all local educational agencies on this topic, a copy of which is enclosed for ease of reference, we request that you provide the Department of Justice with information related to the basis for the Board’s action, as detailed below.

Social Studies Alive is a State Board of Education-adopted social studies curriculum program. As Temecula Valley district staff advised the Board, the program complies with the FAIR Act, which, as explained in the June 1 letter, requires local educational agencies to administer a representative social sciences curriculum that provides instruction on “the role and contributions of specified groups, which include gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans to the development of California and the United States and “the role of these groups in contemporary society.”1

One of the reasons the school board protests of the past few years and the wresting of school boards from woke members—intent on their own personal and social agendas—and then replacing them with parent and student-centric members, is because these local, independent bodies have the right and power to accept or reject any curriculum recommendations from Sacramento. This is why Sacramento wants the bought-and-paid for union loyalists to be on these boards.

When a school board is committed to reflecting the values of the parents and the community, the faux diversity and inclusion, as well as the transgender and overtly sexualized nonsense that is being shoved down parents’ throats in Glendale and La Quinta is no longer an issue. Children learn the basics that will allow them to gain an education and thrive in society, rather than become social experiments.

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It was this atmosphere under which Dr. Joseph Komrosky and others on the TVUSD Board were elected in 2022. But as so many California parents know, the education governor is not on board with school districts asserting their independence from the state agenda, so he decided this matter required his deft intrusive hand. Of course Newsom took to social media once again to condemn Dr. Komrosky for actually doing the job for which he was elected. Newsom put out another social media hit on TVUSD and Dr. Komrosky.

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 their job, we will — and fine them for their incompetence.

Grandstanding over a known pedophile. It’s not a good look. A Thursday piece in the local Patch documented this latest attack.

California officials sent a public threat to the Temecula Valley Unified School District on Thursday, warning that pending state legislation will undo the TVUSD’s rejection of a social sciences curriculum for elementary students that referenced slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

Touting Assembly Bill 1078, which would require a supermajority vote by a school board to ban a book and would allow parents to appeal such bans to the county board of education, Gov. Gavin Newsom said Thursday the framework is being laid to ensure all TVUSD students have updated textbooks.

“Cancel culture has gone too far in Temecula: radicalized zealots on the school board rejected a textbook used by hundreds of thousands of students and now children will begin the school year without the tools they need to learn,” Newsom said in a news release. “If the school board won’t do its job by its next board meeting to ensure kids start the school year with basic materials, the state will deliver the book into the hands of children and their parents — and we’ll send the district the bill and fine them for violating state law.”

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The TVUSD Board President Dr. Komrosky is not taking this lightly. In speaking on his own behalf, he took to Twitter to issue a public statement.

Dr. Komrosky encouraged the news media to reach out to him for the full statement, which RedState did.

I speak personally here and not on behalf of the entire TVUSD board when I say, it is unfortunate that Governor Newsom and others have seized upon an action by the Temecula Valley Unified School expressly authorized by the California Legislature and mischaracterized not only what has occurred, but why. The Board of Education of the Temecula Valley Unified School District did not “ban” a book at its May 16, 2023 regular meeting. Instead the Board of Education determined not to adopt as curriculum a history-social science program for District-wide use that had been part of a pilot study conducted by the District. Members of the Board of Education did state concerns about a supplemental material, not a textbook, that was part of that curriculum related to a lesson for fourth graders about Mr. Milk. But what the Governor has conveniently ignored is that members of the Board of Education expressed other significant concerns about the District’s process, including whether it had adequately engaged the community regarding the adoption of curriculum, as well as whether the proposed curriculum adequately addressed the needs of English learners and special education students.

In researching the article and combing through many of the news reports regarding this made-up controversy, there is very little mention of the detailed process that was undergone—and that continues even now.

What has followed is an intense effort by a significant number of stakeholders within the District to resolve these concerns and assemble a curriculum that meets all state standards, including the FAIR Act, before the next school year is set to begin. That proposed curriculum will be presented to the Board of Education for consideration and adoption on July 18, 2023 at its next regular meeting.

What is also unfortunate is that the Governor knows this and has elected to publish this threatened action ahead of the District’s hard work on this matter that will be come to fruition in just a few days. It should also be noted that the contention by State Superintendent Tony Thurmond that the students of the District are “slated to begin the school year on August 14, 2023 without enough textbooks for every student” is categorically false. Following the decision by the Board of Education in May not to adopt the pilot curriculum, the District made arrangements with the publisher of its currently adopted curriculum to provide enough textbooks for every single K-5 student of the District (which are the grade levels effected by this issue). That plan is in place and can be implemented should a new curriculum not be adopted by the Board of Education.

So even the supposedly non-partisan Superintendent of Public Instruction is playing Newsom’s game of politics and agenda.

As I stated in my response to the Attorney General on June 22, 2023: “The Board remains steadfastly committed to compliance with all laws, providing a safe-learning environment for all students, prohibiting any activity that is discriminatory towards any student or staff member, and fulfilling its statutory duty to comply with all mandates of the Education Code related to the adoption of curriculum. The Board is charged with meeting the needs of its local community, and believes it is doing so appropriately and lawfully, and free from unlawful discrimination.

“Meeting the needs of its local community” is key here, but Newsom cares little about that or any California community. He is only intent on having an issue in which he can grandstand and polish his presidential credentials.

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