Governor Gavin Newsom has responded to the Temecula Valley School Board’s recent ban on literature about Harvey Milk. The board voted 3-2 to remove any teaching materials about the late San Francisco politician, who was openly gay and served as a member of the Board of Supervisors. The ban includes a biography of Milk, which was available to 4th graders as part of their social studies curriculum. The supplementary resources section included a footnote about Milk’s homosexual lifestyle, which a board member found highly inappropriate for children. Board president Dr. Joseph Komrosky agreed with the board member and referred to Milk as a “pedophile”, a statement that several people, including teachers, faculty, and board members, strongly denied.
Governor Newsom Voices His Disapproval
Governor Newsom took to Twitter to express his disappointment with the school board’s decision, calling Komrosky’s statement “offensive”. He emphasized that California values the freedom of education and that historical facts, including Milk’s contributions to the gay rights movement, should not be hidden from grade school children. Newsom did not provide further details on what actions he would take in response to the ban.
Unclear Motivations for Ban and Pedophile Accusation
It is unclear why the school board found Milk’s biography and the footnote about his sexuality inappropriate for children. While some members may have personal objections to homosexuality, others may believe that topics related to sexuality should not be discussed in elementary school. Furthermore, it is unclear why Komrosky referred to Milk as a “pedophile”. Some speculate that he may have been referencing Milk’s relationship with Jack McKinley, which began while McKinley was a teenager. However, this part of Milk’s history is not well-documented and remains controversial.
The Temecula Valley School Board’s ban on Harvey Milk literature has sparked controversy and drawn the attention of California Governor Gavin Newsom. While some members of the board may have personal objections to discussing homosexuality in schools, others argue that historical facts should not be censored. Komrosky’s accusation that Milk was a “pedophile” remains unclear and has been met with strong opposition. It remains to be seen how the situation will be resolved and what actions the governor will take in response.