[Fox News] California school board once in Newsom’s crosshairs now sued by parents, teachers union challenging CRT ban

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The Temecula Valley School District’s board is facing legal challenges over a ban on critical race theory instruction after its then-new conservative majority voted 3-2 to end the allegedly divisive curriculum in its schools last December.

“The vague Resolution hinders Temecula educators’ ability to teach State-mandated content standards, prepare for the coming academic year, and support rather than stifle student inquiry. In turn, Temecula students are deprived of the opportunity to engage in factual investigation, freely discuss ideas, and develop critical thinking and reasoning skills,” the lawsuit reads.

“While harming all schoolchildren, the Resolution in particular injures children of color and LGBTQ children, stigmatizing their identities, histories, and cultures.”

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Law firm Public Counsel and the law firm Ballard Spahr filed the suit on behalf of Temecula Valley Educators Association – a local teachers union – that joined forces with parents and students against the board, alleging the ban on CRT curriculum is “unconstitutional” and, according to the complaint, “infringe[s] on Temecula schoolchildren’s fundamental right to an education, causing them irreparable harm.”

Critical race theory has become a hot-button issue among parents, educators and school board members, with many school board overhauls bringing in conservative majorities that ended the practice altogether. In other places, parents have, at times, demanded the instruction be banned for allegedly promoting ideas that America is systemically racist and viewing the world in collective terms of race, power and class instead of adhering to individualism.

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The lawsuit alleges the board’s move violates components of California law requiring that “every local education agency with students in grades 9–12 “offer at least a one-semester course in ethnic studies” beginning in 2025,” adding, “For students who start high school the following fall, the course will be a prerequisite for graduation.” 

The document cites that requirements laid out for the curriculum include instruction on the historic struggles of communities of color, systemic oppression and more. “A teacher cannot comply with California law and the Resolution at the same time,” the lawsuit argues.

The resolution under scrutiny in the lawsuit, in part, argues that CRT “assigns generational guilt for conduct and policies that are long in the past” and that nothing in the resolution “shall require any staff member to violate local, state, or federal law.”

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Quoting Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., the resolution states that the board believes people should be judged by the “content of their character” and not the “color of their skin.”

Temecula Valley Unified School District recently garnered media attention for the board’s refusal to adopt a state-approved social studies curriculum over allegations that it contained references to late gay rights activist and former San Francisco politician Harvey Milk.

California Gov. Gavin Newsom, D., threatened the board with a $1.5 million fine for its refusal, but board members later adopted the curriculum.

Fox News Digital reached out to a member of Public Counsel law firm, contacts for Ballard Spahr law firm and the Temecula Valley Unified School District’s board for comment, but did not receive an immediate response from any parties.

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