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Rocklin school board president faces controversy over calls for religion in curriculum

Rocklin school board president's Facebook post sparks controversy
Rocklin school board president's Facebook post sparks controversy 02:01

ROCKLIN — Backlash is brewing against a Rocklin school board president over her calls for "Christ-centered" parents to join school advisory committees.

Her calls come as those new parent committees start helping select school curricula.

Rocklin board President Julie Leavens Hupp posted on her campaign Facebook page: "We need as many Christ centered, family focused parents as we can get..."

Rocklin Friends, As your school board we have worked very hard to insist that important decisions (such as new...

Posted by Julie Leavens Hupp - Rocklin School Board Trustee on Tuesday, August 22, 2023

The message was aimed at attracting parents to new curriculum advisory boards.

Rocklin parent Pryce Johnson said the comment crosses a distinct line in public education.

"I'm somebody that believes firmly in the separation of church and state, and so I found that completely inappropriate to appeal to one specific religious demographic," Johnson said.

Hupp responded to online criticism. In a separate post, she asked all faiths and child-loving people to sign up for the school's new advisory boards.

The post comes as Rocklin parents can now take part in a new process to consider science curriculum for grades 3 through 5 this year.

Last year, Hupp and a board majority voted against the science curriculum after some parent pushback. The teacher-recommended material was inappropriate

A spokesperson for the Rocklin Unified School District issued a statement reading, in part:

"The district is aware of social media posts made by board trustee Hupp, and trustee Hupp has always been proud of the diversity of our community and hopes to see it represented in all of our communities."

The explanation is not enough for Johnson.

"I'm frustrated but I want more from our board," he said.

The next Rocklin school board meeting is set for September 6. We did reach out directly to Hupp, but she did not respond to a request for a comment.

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