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Temecula's ban on critical race theory and gender notification policy faces legal challenges

Parents, teachers, and students sue Temecula Valley Unified
Parents, teachers, and students sue Temecula Valley Unified 02:49

Parents, students and teacher from Temecula sued their school district after the board approved a gender notification policy and a so-called ban on teaching critical race theory.

The lawyers from the nonprofit civil rights law firm "Public Counsel" said that it is seeking a court order to stop the Temecula Valley Unified School Board's controversial policies. Attorney Amanda Mangaser Savage said the guidelines will harm students. 

"The harms that these students are incurring are so damaging, so irreparable, that if we have to wait to litigate, those harms can't be undone, " Savage said. 

Savage works with the group's "Opportunity Under Law Project." She said it's the first firm in California to challenge a curriculum censorship policy. 

"California has robust constitutional protections for the rights that are at the center of this case, these are the rights to learn," Savage said. "The right to receive information that is free from ideological censorship. The right to be free from discrimination."

While this contingent argues against the policies, many other parents have shown their support for them at previous board meetings. They claimed that the community needs these new policies.

"I cannot do what I am hired by and credentialed by the state to do, if I follow this resolution," high school teacher Dawn Murray-Sibby said. 

She is one of the teachers named in the lawsuit. Murray-Sibby said she's poured her heart and soul into her career for the past 29 years. However, she believes many in her field are silenced by the fear of getting fired for teaching history and supporting students. 

"These are hits," said Murray-Sibby. "They are wounds to our public school system because of the lies that are being told about the system."

The Temecula Unified School District said they could not comment on pending litigation.

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