Outrage Ensues as Board President Labels Harvey Milk Pedophile


Harvey Milk Pedophile accusation: Picture San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, left, and Mayor George Moscone during the April 1977 signing of the city’s gay rights bill. They were both assassinated in 1978. Photograph: AP
San Francisco supervisor Harvey Milk, left, and Mayor George Moscone during the April 1977 signing of the city’s gay rights bill. They were both assassinated in 1978. Photograph: AP

A school board president in California criticised for referring to gay rights activist Harvey Milk as a pedophile.

During the school board’s meeting on May 16th. Joseph Komrosky objected to an elementary social science curriculum that included Harvey Milk.  Milk, the first openly gay man elected to public office in California, in its supplemental materials.

He asked, “My question is, why even mention a pedophile?”. This comment echoed a baseless conspiracy theory that falsely accuses gay individuals.

The insinuation of a higher likelihood of child molestation compared to heterosexual individuals.

When attendees vehemently protested that Harvey Milk was not a pedophile, Komrosky responded with, “I beg to differ.”

In a surprising turn of events, Komrosky, along with two other school board members, voted 3-2 to reject the curriculum.

This left the district without a textbook for the upcoming academic year.

California’s Governor Gavin Newsom

Took to Twitter on June 3rd to address the situation and draw a distinction between California and more conservative states. He called Komrosky’s statement “offensive” and noted, “This isn’t Texas or Florida. In the Golden State, our kids have the freedom to learn. Congrats, Mr. Komrosky, you have our attention. Stay tuned.”

Joseph Komrosky, Jen Wiersma, and Danny Gonzalez, the three school board members who opposed the curriculum, received support from the Inland Empire Family political action committee, which aims to “support conservative candidates who will stand for parental rights.”

As of now, Komrosky has not provided a response to requests for comment. During the meeting, he characterized Harvey Milk’s inclusion in the educational materials as a “form of activism.” Some board members expressed concerns that parents had not received adequate information about the curriculum or enough time to review it and provide feedback.

The One Temecula Valley political action committee, dedicated to promoting “stable, responsible candidates,” initiated a petition before the May 16th meeting, calling for the resignation of Komrosky and Wiersma from the school board and for the censure of Gonzalez. This petition continues to gather signatures.

The social science curriculum, which the board rejected, had been tested by 47 teachers in the district’s elementary schools over the past year. The Temecula Valley Educators Association affirmed that the curriculum was “accurate, age-appropriate, unbiased, and politically neutral.” The association has scheduled two rallies in June to advocate for the approval of a textbook for the upcoming school year. Currently, the district relies on a textbook first published in 2006, which is now out of print. Following last month’s meeting, the Temecula Valley Unified School District extended the period for parents to review and provide feedback on textbook materials.

Watch: Temecula Valley School Board Member Calls Harvey Milk a ‘Pedophile’

Florida’s Board of education passed banning discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity.

This controversy unfolds amidst a broader national debate over the inclusion of LGBTQ+ issues in school curricula. Earlier this year, Florida’s board of education passed a measure banning discussions of sexual orientation and gender identity across all grade levels, expanding what critics have labelled the “don’t say gay” law. Recent events, such as a violent protest over a planned Pride month assembly at a Los Angeles elementary school and an intense anti-LGBTQ+ protest outside a school district building in Glendale, California, highlight the ongoing tensions surrounding LGBTQ+ education in the United States.

Watch: Temecula Valley School Board Member Calls Harvey Milk a ‘Pedophile’

 

 

 

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