TVUSD Board sued by teachers union, parents and students over CRT ban

FILE PHOTO Valley News/Will Fritz file photo
TVUSD is not alone in banning CRT. This graph shows the states that have banned or are in the process of banning CRT as of April, 2023. 16 states have already banned CRT. 9 states are in process of banning the ideology which, while it purports to be anti-racist, many consider it to be racist ideology and greatly reversing the cultural advances that have been made since the Civil Rights Movement.

TVUSD School Board is being sued for their ban on Critical Race Theory, according to a press release published today by Public Counsel,  a nonprofit public interest law firm. The firm is representing the Temecula Valley Educators Association, students and parents by bringing a “first-of-its-kind” lawsuit against the school board, according to their press release, “with the support of the California Teachers Association (CTA).” 

TVUSD Board President Dr. Komrosky released a personal statement saying, to his knowledge, the board had not yet been served with the suit. He went on to say, “As one of three trustees who voted for the resolution and who prioritizes the interests of our students and the rights of parents and legal guardians, I do not believe that CRT or any racist ideology is a suitable educational framework for classroom instruction at the elementary and secondary level.” 

“While I and the Board will address and respond to the suit in due course through the Board’s counsel and the judicial process, I will simply note for now that, in my view, this suit effectively represents an effort by those behind it to secure the ability to use CRT and its precepts of division and hate as an instructional framework in our schools. “ 

The lawsuit seeks to invalidate and prove unconstitutional, the December 2022 resolution of the Temecula Valley Unified School District (“TVUSD”) Board of Trustees prohibiting the use of Critical Race Theory (CRT) as a framework for classroom instruction in TVUSD schools.

Proponents of CRT examine and teach the role of institutions in racism throughout history and find institutional racism as pervasive throughout most of America, even in science, math, history, systems of Government, etc. One book that made the theory popular was “White Fragility,” by Robin J. DiAngelo, which describes a phenomenon by which all white people are complicit in systemic racism. She makes a case for why “it is incumbent upon white people to accept their individual and collective responsibility for white supremacy – and to do the difficult work of challenging it.”

A former TVUSD board member Barbra Bosch had previously stated that CRT was not actually being taught in Temecula, yet, hundreds of students walked out of their classrooms in protest of the ban, the day after the resolution was passed.

CRT has been hotly debated across the country. Other districts in California have banned it, including Placentia-Yorba Linda Unified and Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.

“As a teacher, my role is to introduce my students to a broad range of viewpoints so they can learn to think critically and form their own opinions about the world,” said Dawn Sibby, a teacher at Temecula Valley High School. “This ban has created a climate of fear in our classrooms, and it is preventing my students from learning about the history and diversity of our nation. I’m proud to be a plaintiff, in this case, to fight for my students, who deserve an education not censored by Board members’ ideological beliefs.” 

“The ideal of public education is to open the minds and hearts of students to the experiences and insights of communities beyond their own,” says Mark Rosenbaum, Director of Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law project. “It is to build powers of exploration, imagination, critical thinking, and empathy. The Temecula school board resolution that is the subject of this lawsuit seeks to subvert this ideal by stifling teachers from promoting these values and instead imposing an ideology that introduces insidious racial and gender stereotypes into the classroom. If permitted to stand, the resolution will replace education with indoctrination, open-mindedness with bigotry, truth with falsehoods.”

One Temecula parent, Michael Gregori, who has attended all the school board meetings said, “This is just flat-out untrue. At least this school board has not been imposing any ideologies, especially ones that introduce insidious racial and gender stereotypes into the classroom trying to divide students. The new school board has been debating about what is age-appropriate in the classroom instead–that’s their job!.  

He continued, “Remember we had a teacher who assigned materials to students that included graphic descriptions of unprotected sex between two strangers, an adult man and boy, and the “F” word was used over a hundred times. Do you really think parents thought this was appropriate? School boards are elected to make these decisions with parents only–not with political entities who have agendas in regard to our daughters and sons. Sometimes, of course, absolutely teachers will be told that they can’t use inappropriate language or materials. Who gave them permission to do that?! These new board members are certainly doing their job and so I and the vast majority of the parents out there thank them for it. I think it’s horrible how other media outlets are trying to portray it in a completely false narrative. People need to read between the lines and know the truth of how it is the family that is really being attacked here, not just Mr. Komrosky, Jen Wiersma, and Danny Gonzales.” 

Public Counsel represents on their website that they are a firm “dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice.” Law firm Ballard Spahr is working on the case as part of the firm’s Racial Justice and Equality Initiative, a pro bono plan of action dedicated to combating racial injustice and inequity through litigation.


Julie Reeder
Julie Reeder