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HomeLatest NewsCalifornia Governor Outlaws Bans on Schoolbooks Based on Racial and Gender Teachings

California Governor Outlaws Bans on Schoolbooks Based on Racial and Gender Teachings

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California Governor Gavin Newsom has signed a bill that prohibits school boards from rejecting textbooks based on their teachings about the contributions of individuals from different racial backgrounds, sexual orientations, and gender identities. This measure aims to address the attempts by fringe ideologues in various parts of the country to censor and rewrite history. Newsom believes that this law is long overdue and asserts that it solidifies California as a state that prioritizes freedom and allows families to make their own decisions. The bill takes effect immediately and comes as book censorship becomes a controversial issue in the United States, particularly in conservative-dominated school boards that object to representations of sexuality and LGBTQ+ history in textbooks. This legislation gained attention after a Southern California school board rejected a social studies curriculum for elementary students that included teaching about Harvey Milk, a well-known San Francisco politician and gay rights advocate.

It is worth noting that a 2011 state law already requires schools in California to educate students about the historical contributions of gay, bisexual, and transgender Americans. Consequently, when the Southern California school board rejected the curriculum, Newsom threatened them with a considerable fine of $1.5 million. As a result, the board later agreed to approve a modified curriculum that fulfilled the state’s requirements. The new legislation not only prevents school boards from banning instructional materials or library books that provide inclusive and diverse perspectives, but it also ensures compliance with state law. The passing of this bill was the result of intense debates about the state’s role in approving curricula and the need for students to be exposed to accurate and diverse portrayals of history.

In addition to the bill addressing book censorship, Governor Newsom also signed another bill on the same day that increases penalties for child traffickers. Previously, the proposal was blocked by Democrats in the Assembly Public Safety Committee out of concern that it could inadvertently punish victims of child trafficking. However, Newsom expressed his disapproval of the bill’s failure to advance, which prompted lawmakers to revise and revive it. State Senator Shannon Grove, author of the bill, amended it to safeguard victims from being criminalized. The signing of these two bills demonstrates Governor Newsom’s commitment to promoting inclusivity in education and protecting vulnerable individuals within the state of California.

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