What Glenn Youngkin can learn from California when it comes to education
It is both ironic and disturbing that some activists and politicians have elevated the status of the known sexual predator Harvey Milk.
Milk, whose image is on a commemorative U.S. postage stamp and for whom a U.S. Navy ship has been named, is even moving into K-12 public education textbooks. In the mandated California curricula materials for public schools this year, Democrats, including Gov. Gavin Newsom (D-CA), honor and revere Harvey Milk for his activism.
Not all activists should be revered. Randy Shilts, Milk’s friend and biographer, explains in The Mayor of Castro Street: The Life and Times of Harvey Milk, that Milk was known for his “penchant for young waifs with substance abuse problems.” In the biography, Shilts details the criminal relationship that 33-year-old Milk had with a 16-year-old run-away from Maryland, Jack Galen McKinley.
Harvey Milk is by definition a pederast — a fact that no one seems to be refuting. Rather, loud fringe voices from the Left dismiss Milk’s predatory nature as irrelevant to his activism and accuse those who disagree of homophobia. This is insulting. Preying on drug-addicted, run-away children is predatory and should not be celebrated, particularly not in children’s public school textbooks.
Temecula Valley Unified School District board members rejected California’s curricula materials for this reason. Joseph Komrosky, the school board president, referred to Milk as a “pedophile,” and relayed that he instructed the district to reject any materials shipped from the state. Shortly afterward, Newsom fined the district $1.5 million for what he said was a “willful violation of the law.”
Newsom has a clear political agenda, which does not include parents’ rights or decency in public education. But maybe other states, such as Virginia, can learn from his intervention as they wage education battles of their own.
In July 2023, Gov. Glenn Youngkin’s (R-VA) administration passed an update to the state’s public education policies. The model policies received tremendous support among parents, but also criticism from fringe activists. The transgender movement activists, in particular, are upset with Youngkin’s requirements that bathroom use is to be based on biological sex rather than chosen gender, and that parents are to be notified of their children’s gender identities at school.
Despite Youngkin’s clear guidance, several school officials are refusing to comply with the order. In Fairfax County, for example, teachers are still forced to undergo training to keep students’ preferred gender identities secret from their parents. And the 12-member Democrat-endorsed Fairfax school board has publicly stated they will not comply with the guidance on bathroom and locker room use.
In a strange move, given that the federal government had nothing to say about the state and local power struggle between California and Temecula Valley regarding Harvey Milk, the Department of Justice’s Community Relations Service, in emails to Virginia’s local school board members, offered to provide its “services in conflict resolution” regarding Youngkin’s new model policies. The federal government is there to intrusively push its agenda in state and local matters. Obviously, the conflict itself is of no concern.
That the USNS Harvey Milk sails the seas is yet another reminder of which side the federal government has taken.
But Youngkin might do well to take a page out of Newsom’s playbook. Perhaps he could start with fines against the school districts that refuse to comply with commonsense, family-first guidance.