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StandWithUs Applauds Governor Newsom's Veto of AB331 and His Call to Fix California's Ethnic Studies

Photo by: Gage Skidmore

(Sacramento, CA, September 30, 2020) -- StandWithUs applauds Governor Newsom for vetoing AB331, which would have made ethnic studies a graduation requirement in California public schools on September 30, 2020. In his veto message, Newsom stated that, "I appreciate the amendments the author accepted to ensure that any ethnic studies coursework is free of bias and discrimination... This bill, however, would require ethnic studies to be taught in high school at a time when there is much uncertainty about the appropriate K-12 model curriculum for ethnic studies... In my opinion, the latest draft, which is currently out for review, still needs revision."

"We are relieved Governor Newsom acknowledged the concerns that so many citizens across California have expressed about the Ethnic Studies Model Curriculum (ESMC)," said Roz Rothstein, CEO of StandWithUs. "The latest draft must be revised to accurately represent and include Jews, teach about antisemitism in all its forms, and remove guiding values and principles which will be used to justify bringing bias and hate into our classrooms."

On September 22nd, StandWithUs sent Governor Newsom a letter urging him to "communicate directly with the Superintendent of Schools and the California Board of Education" to demand that they fix the ESMC. The letter referenced the fact that thousands of Californians have sent emails or signed our petition in support of the detailed analysis and recommended changes located here. We appreciate the Governor's commitment to direct his, "Administration to work with State Board of Education President Linda Darling-Hammond and State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tony Thurmond to ensure that the draft ethnic studies model curriculum achieves balance, fairness, and is inclusive of all communities."

The StandWithUs letter also noted that on September 23rd, a program within the San Francisco State University College of Ethnic Studies hosted an event glorifying Leila Khaled. Khaled, a member of the PFLP terrorist group, was personally responsible for a plane hijacking that nearly ended in the mass murder of 148 civilians. The professor who hosted this event, Rabab Abdulhadi, is currently cited in Appendix A the ESMC.

StandWithUs will continue to work with partners across the state to ensure this hate does not rear its ugly head in public schools across California.

About StandWithUs

StandWithUs (SWU) is an international, non-profit and non-partisan Israel education organization that works to inspire and educate people of all ages about Israel, as well as challenge misinformation and fight against antisemitism.

Through university fellowships, high school internships, middle school curricula, conferences, materials, social media, educational films and missions to Israel, StandWithUs supports people around the world who want to educate their schools and communities about Israel.

Founded in 2001 and headquartered in Los Angeles, the organization has chapters and programs on 5 continents, including the U.S., Israel, UK, Canada, South Africa and Brazil.

For the last 7 years, SWU has consistently received the highest possible ratings from Charity Navigator (4 stars) and Guidestar (Platinum). and www. and


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