On May 12, a local special interest group sponsored a “Tustin Town Hall on Critical Race Theory” at the Orange County Classical Academy in Orange. Sent to a private Facebook group, the organizer wrote in bold: Parents of TUSD…SHOW UP! The school board is planning to implement this curriculum in the fall. We can change this!
Special interest groups like this one have targeted California school boards with frightening and alarming disinformation about “Critical Race Theory” in an effort to pressure them to ignore the changes required by the California FAIR Education Act.
On Monday, May 17, the group listed above, led by a group of conservative local parents, will be visiting our Tustin Unified School District (TUSD) Board Meeting. You can read about groups like these in the LA Times / KTLA5 articles about the recent school board meetings in Los Alamitos. The meeting had to be moved online because of threats of violence.
How can I help?
- Attend Monday’s school board meeting in person if possible to to speak up in favor of adopting inclusive curriculum (speakers will be allowed in one at a time).
- Send an email prior to Monday’s meeting so your wishes can be included in public comments.
- Attend Monday’s school board meeting via Zoom.
Why does this matter?
The Tustin Democratic Club applauds our school board members (past and current) for championing a curriculum that fosters inclusiveness and helps all of our students understand California’s racially, ethnically and culturally diverse history. We appreciate that our school board cares about all of our students and wants every one of them to feel safe and welcome at school each day.
Other important reasons to support the adoption of the FAIR Education Act curriculum:
- The TUSD student population is becoming increasingly diverse and our curriculum should reflect every student’s lived experiences.
- TUSD schools include a large area of West Irvine. If parents decide that TUSD is not keeping up with current education trends, then they may decide to attend schools in Irvine, resulting a significant loss of funding for TUSD schools and students.
- The FAIR Act was voted into law ten years ago and it is time for TUSD to be in compliance with the law.
Hate, intolerance and disinformation have no place in Tustin. Your participation in this Urgent Action will encourage the TUSD School Board to approve this important update to its curriculum.
What is the FAIR Education Act?
- In 2011, the California State Legislature signed the The FAIR Education Act into law – it took effect on January 1, 2012. The FAIR Education Act (California Senate Bill 48) stands for Fair, Accurate, Inclusive, and Respectful. This Act “requires schools to integrate factual information about social movements, current events and history of people of color, people with disabilities and LBGT people into existing social studies lessons. It also prevents schools from adopting instructional materials that discriminate.”
- The Fair Education Act revised the language found in the existing Education Code (sections 60040(a) and 6044(a) from “black Americans, American Indians, Mexican, Asians, and Pacific Islands people” to “Native Americans, African Americans, Mexican Americans, Asian Americans, Pacific Islanders, and European Americans”.
- Another existing law prohibited schools from sponsoring activities or teaching curricula that negatively or adversely affects students based on a list of characteristics including race, ethnicity, nationality, gender, and disability; FAIR amended this law to also include sexual orientation and religion.