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Temecula Students, Parents, and Teachers Seek to Halt Enforcement of the School Board’s Discriminatory Policies

National experts in education and health weigh in with support

LOS ANGELES, NOVEMBER 30, 2023 – A coalition of students, parents, teachers, and the local teachers’ union has filed a motion for preliminary injunction against the Board of Trustees of the Temecula Valley Unified School District, seeking to bar enforcement of board policies that censor state-mandated curriculum and require teachers to “out” LGBTQ students to their parents, regardless of potential harms the students may face at home. If granted, the injunction would provide immediate relief and shield students and teachers from irreparable damage while the case proceeds. 

The plaintiffs’ request follows the board’s enactment of a sweeping ban on an ill-defined range of content labeled “Critical Race Theory and other similar frameworks” and its censorship of curricular material about the LGBTQ rights movement. In their motion, the plaintiffs describe how the chilling effects of the ban have been worsened by the board’s subsequent actions, including board president Joseph Komrosky’s encouragement of parents to investigate and seek removal of 16 books from district libraries and board member Jennifer Wiersma’s request that district librarians take down a Banned Books Week display. 

In October, the plaintiffs expanded their lawsuit to challenge another board policy requiring teachers to “out” transgender and non-binary students to their parents without their consent.

“Temecula’s students have no time to lose,” said Plaintiff Amy Eytchison, one of the teachers who brought forward the suit. “The Board’s policies are denying them an accurate education and a safe school environment. They’re suffering personally, academically, and socially.”

“As a result of the Board’s censorship, Temecula students are being miseducated and left behind the rest of the State. Unless stopped, the Board’s actions will place these students at a permanent disadvantage in preparing for college, careers, and participation in a diverse democracy,” said Amanda Mangaser Savage, Supervising Attorney of Public Counsel’s Opportunity Under Law project. “The stakes could not be higher: This is the first case to attack, head-on, efforts to spread censorship throughout California. Its outcome is critical to demonstrating that curriculum bans, book banning, and the forced outing of LGBTQ students have no place in California’s public schools.”

The filing is supported by 12 preeminent experts in the fields of education and health:
Dr. Prudence Carter (Brown), Dr. Thomas Dee (Stanford), Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr. (Harvard), Dr. Jeremy Goldbach (Washington University in St. Louis), Dr. Tyrone Howard (UCLA), Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang (University of Southern California), Dr. Uma Jayakumar (UC Riverside), Dr. Sabra Katz-Wise (Harvard), Dr. Rita Kohli (UC Riverside), Dr. Marcos Pizarro (San Jose State), Dr. Sari Reisner (Harvard), and Dr. John Rogers (UCLA). The testimony of these experts underscores the immense harm inflicted on Temecula students and teachers by the board’s curriculum ban and coercive outing policy.

“Resolution 21 erases the histories—and the humanity—of students of color,” said Dr. Henry Louis Gates, Jr., the Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and Director of the Hutchins Center for African and African American Studies at Harvard University in his declaration in support of the plaintiffs’ motion, noting that “the board condemns the lived realities of students of color as a controversial ideology.”

“By limiting the ideas that students can engage with, Resolution 21 stymies students at a critical period in their development,” said Dr. Mary Helen Immordino-Yang, the director of the University of Southern California’s Affective Neuroscience, Development, Learning and Education in her declaration. “Neuroscientific research demonstrates that humans require exposure to certain experiences during ‘sensitive periods’ in order to develop to their full capacities.”

“A transgender child cannot be un-outed to their parents. Students of color will receive only censored instruction on discrimination. And students of every background will leave Temecula schools without the knowledge of U.S. history and society shared by their peers elsewhere in the state,” said Elizabeth Schilken, an Attorney in the Litigation Department of Ballard Spahr. “This kind of damage cannot be undone.”

Beyond the immediate motion, the lawsuit seeks to create a legal precedent that affirms students’ right to comprehensive, fact-based education and a safe learning environment in California’s K–12 public schools. The Temecula students, parents, and educators are represented by Public Counsel and Ballard Spahr LLP, with the support of the California Teachers Association. 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.

A hearing on plaintiffs’ request is set for January 24, 2024.

More information on the case, the legal documents, and the full expert declarations in support of the requested injunction are available at   


For media inquiries, email Alex with Rise Strategy Group HERE.

About Public Counsel

Public Counsel is a nonprofit public interest law firm dedicated to advancing civil rights and racial and economic justice, as well as to amplifying the power of our clients through comprehensive legal advocacy. Founded on and strengthened by a pro bono legal service model, our staff and volunteers seek justice through direct legal services, promote healthy and resilient communities through education and outreach, and support community-led efforts to transform unjust systems through litigation and policy advocacy in and beyond Los Angeles. For more information, visit 

About Ballard Spahr LLP

Ballard Spahr LLP was founded in 1885. It focuses on litigation, securities and regulatory enforcement, business and finance, intellectual property, public finance, and real estate matters. The firm currently employs more than 600 attorneys in 15 offices throughout the United States, and includes a nationally recognized media and entertainment law practice group specializing in First Amendment litigation. For more information, visit

About the California Teachers Association

The unified voice of educators in California’s public schools and colleges, CTA is a powerful and passionate advocate for students and public education. Its 310,000 members support and nurture all students in classrooms every day, preparing them to be the leaders of tomorrow.  And, as the largest affiliate in the 3-million member National Education Association, its voice is heard in the halls of our Capitol in Washington, D.C. Together and throughout our history, CTA has worked to improve the conditions of teaching and learning in California. Its members include teachers, counselors, psychologists, librarians, Education Support Professionals and other non-supervisory certificated personnel in our public schools and colleges.

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