Campaign Submits Signatures to Recall California School Board President Over Conservative Decisions

Campaign Submits Signatures to Recall California School Board President Over Conservative Decisions

Temecula Valley Unified School District Board President Joseph Komrosky listens to a speaker during public comment session at a board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 22, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

12/13/2023

Updated: 12/30/2023

A group campaigning to recall a California school board president over his conservative leanings say they’ve submitted enough signatures to trigger an election.
Local political action committee One Temecula Valley submitted 5,236 signatures Dec. 6 to the Riverside County elections office to initiate a recall election against Temecula Valley Unified School District Board President Joseph Komrosky.
The committee’s submission was two days ahead of the deadline and surpassed the required 4,280 signatures to trigger an election.
Now, the Riverside County elections office must certify enough signatures as valid in the coming weeks in order for a recall election to take place.
Committee co-founder Jeff Pack told The Epoch Times in a previous interview that they are initiating the recall because of the board’s recent controversial decisions.
“[The trustees’ actions] have created instability and chaos in the district,” Mr. Pack told The Epoch Times. “We want to make Temecula boring again.”
The Temecula Valley Unified board gained statewide attention this summer when it twice rejected, then ultimately approved, an elementary social studies textbook that Mr. Komrosky deemed inappropriate for its inclusion of LGBT activist Harvey Milk, whom the board president called a “pedophile” due to reports that Mr. Milk had a sexual relationship with a minor as an adult.
Mr. Komrosky’s comment gained attention from Gov. Gavin Newsom, who threatened to send copies of the contested “Social Studies Alive” book to Temecula students and to enact legislation that would fine the district $1.5 million if the board didn’t approve the textbook.
Ultimately, the board voted to approve the curriculum, with the recommendation that teachers swap the material that includes Mr. Milk with something more “age appropriate.”
Mr. Komrosky said the vote was not in response to Mr. Newsom’s threats, but to avoid a costly lawsuit for the district.
Even with the board’s about-face on the issue, the governor called for a civil rights investigation into the district in July.
Last December, the three trustees also voted to ban critical race theory in the district shortly after they were elected to office.
In response to the recall, Mr. Komrosky told The Epoch Times that he was concerned, because some members of the recall group used what he said was false information to campaign for his recall.
“[They use] charged words like ‘chaos’, ‘panic’, ‘extremist’, ‘dysfunctional school board’, ‘failed school district’, ‘MAGA Republican’ and ‘national playbook,’ designed to undercut one’s reasoning faculties to appeal to their emotions,” Mr. Komrosky said in an emailed statement to The Epoch Times.
He continued, “If I’m recalled, I want to be recalled when somebody’s informed, not based upon a lie. There is only one way out of a lie, and it’s called telling the truth. That is what my ... message will ground itself on, as I properly inform the constituents in our community of Temecula of what they’re voting on.”
Mr. Komrosky also defended his decisions, saying that every choice was made with students’ academic success in mind over any “political agenda.”
“The good people of Temecula know that education for their children has to be the greatest priority to give the best career chances for students,” he said. “Students deserve better in their education—not political agendas, not ... social theories, nor the forced insertion of sexual identity confusion thrust upon children attacking families. This all comes from legislators [and] from a totalitarian governor who has run the state to the ground economically and morally, which has sold out the future of families in this state.”
Community members attend a Temecula Valley Unified School District board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 22, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

Community members attend a Temecula Valley Unified School District board meeting in Temecula, Calif., on Aug. 22, 2023. (John Fredricks/The Epoch Times)

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Micaela Ricaforte

Micaela Ricaforte

Author

Micaela Ricaforte covers education in Southern California for The Epoch Times. In addition to writing, she is passionate about music, books, and coffee.

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