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Temecula's school board president is recalled

Temecula school board president is recalled
Temecula school board president is recalled 00:21

Temecula Valley Unified School District's school board president has been recalled after promoting controversial school policies involving race and gender.

Joseph Komrosky has been at the forefront of the state's culture wars and narrowly lost the recall vote with 51% of the voters choosing to oust him.

The conservative led the school board as policies were created to address critical race theory in the classroom and the rights of LGBTQ+ students. The district was sued after banning the teaching of critical race theory and requiring staff to notify parents of their child's gender identification change.

The recall issue went out to voters on June 4, and the June 20 results were final with 9,722 ballots tallied. Of those, 4,751 opposed the recall and 4,963 favored the recall of Komrosky.

In June 2023, Komrosky and fellow board members voted to reject the state's social studies curriculum that contained information on Harvey Milk, a pioneering gay rights figure in California. 

"My question is, why even mention a pedophile?" Komrosky said at the time during a school board meeting. 

Gov. Newsom responded with threats of repercussions for the district as the two traded jabs on the topic

Eventually, the threat of a $1.5 million fine for the district based on what Newsom called "willful violation of the law," was enough to get board members to adopt the curriculum, but not without claiming that they would work to find a way to avoid the curriculum while still meeting state mandates. 

Months later, the TVUSD board then voted on another controversial topic by opting to limit what flags can be displayed on school and district grounds. The policy does not explicitly state which flags are banned, but only allows the United States and state flags. Any other flags require approval from the superintendent. 

A closed door firing of beloved Superintendent Jodi McClay, who had held the position for more than two decades, also drew the ire of many residents and educators.

On Komrosky's personal X account, his bio describes him as a "God fearing patriot who loves our country. Full time college professor teaching logic and critical thinking, and servant of Jesus Christ, my Lord and Savior."

Earlier, when the recall vote was launched in June, he shared a post on his personal Instagram page, appealing to voters before polls closed. 

"Since I've been elected by the majority of the community, I've no greater honor in my entire life than in protecting your children's innocence," the post said. "I've done this by reducing any social activism in our school district so that we can return to a more common sense back to basics educational framework."

Komrosky has expressed interest in running for reelection to the school board. In a response to the Los Angeles Times on Thursday he said, "Given the narrow margin, I will likely run again in the November 2024 general election."

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