FAC, ACLU Urge Temecula School Board and Its President to Halt Free Speech Violations at Meetings

Last week, FAC joined the ACLU of Southern California in demanding that the Temecula Valley Unified School District (“TVUSD”) School Board stop trampling on the Brown Act and First Amendment. 

Since a new majority was elected in late 2022, the board has made a series of controversial decisions including firing the superintendent, banning “critical race theory,” and opposing a new curriculum that mentions Harvey Milk

As discussed in the demand letter, Board President Joseph Komrosky has repeatedly violated the Brown Act and First Amendment by ejecting community members from board meetings simply for criticizing board members, for example calling one a “homophobe” and another “probably a Communist.”

Komrosky also implemented an unconstitutionally vague and overbroad “Penalty Card” system for board meetings, borrowed from sporting events. Komrosky gives “yellow” or “red” cards to audience members for causing alleged “disruption” without the proper warnings required by the Brown Act. Komrosky defined “disruption” as “[A] loud outburst or even something like constant talking in the rear that causes… board members and staff… to lose the ability to concentrate.” 

In August, Komrosky ejected an entire section of the audience during a Board meeting, gesturing vaguely at the section of the audience and giving a “yellow card” to that entire section. Shortly thereafter, Komrosky ejected the entire section, without clear indication that every member of the public who was sitting in that section was engaged in genuinely “disruptive” conduct.  

The letter argues that this subjective system, and the process for its implementation, flies in the face of the First Amendment and specific warning requirements outlined in the Brown Act.

See the letter below: