Elementary school might use Harvey Milk, a man known for pederasty, to teach honesty, bravery

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Parents in Elk Grove, California, are being asked to review proposed K-8 social studies curriculum this week that includes a third-grade lesson on honesty and bravery using famed LGBT politician Harvey Milk as a role model. Some parents and community leaders are alarmed the school district would use Milk, well known for his pederasty, as a role model, especially after several of its teachers were recently fired and arrested for sexual contact with students. They are also upset with sexualized topics, like homosexuality, being introduced to impressionable young children with little concern for how these lessons will contradict the values children learn at home.

“What kind of message are school officials trying to send student, parents, and teachers by making Harvey Milk a hero to third graders?” asked California Family Council President Jonathan Keller. “Harvey Milk’s past behavior with teens would disqualify him from being a teacher with in the Elk Grove School District, so why would the district consider textbooks that encourage 8-year-old kids to admire him?”

The school district is trying to choose between several K-8 social science publishers in order to comply with a 2011 state law (FAIR Education Act – SB 48) requiring the contributions of LGBT figures be added to the curriculum. Although the California State Board of Education recommended the textbooks, local school districts still have the final say on how the content is covered and at what grade levels.

Elk Grove officials narrowed their pick between two publishers for K-5 classes for parents to comment on, but both introduce children to Harvey Milk. For example, in a third grade textbook by Pearson titled “California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive,” Milk is introduced to kids as a brave civil rights leader who was honest about being gay. Teachers are instructed to tell students the importance of “being honest about who they are.”  

Third grade lesson on Harvey Milk from a social studies textbook by Pearson titled “California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive.”

Milk’s sexual history with young people is well documented. Milk’s biographer Randy Shilts in “The Mayor of Castro: the Life and Times of Harvey Milk,” spends half a dozen pages detailing the 33-year-old’s sexual relationship with a 16-year-old. (Read it for yourself).

It is ironic Elk Grove Unified School District would want students to admire Milk in light of the seven employees and volunteers the Elk Grove School District has had to fire in the last two years because of their sexual contact with students. Here are some examples:

  • Last December, an EGUSD teacher’s aide was sentenced to 11 years in prison for molesting six students, some as young as 7-years-old.
  • In September of 2017, a Cosumnes Oaks High School AP geography teacher, age 40, was arrested for having sex with one of his 15-year-old students.
  • In May of 2017, a Sheldon High School P.E. teacher was sentenced for statutory raping involving two 17-year-olds. (Read more here)
Teacher instructions for 3rd grade lesson on Harvey Milk from a social studies textbook by Pearson titled “California History-Social Science: myWorld Interactive.”

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