FUSD board rejects Harvey Milk Day resolution

Tonight, the Fremont Unified school board rejected a resolution supporting Harvey Milk Day, which honors the state’s first openly gay elected official who was slain in 1978.

Trustees Larry Sweeney, Ivy Wu and Lily Mei opposed the resolution; Bryan Gebhardt and Lara York supported it. This decision comes one day after the Fremont City Council voted to adopt a resolution mayor issued a proclamation supporting Harvey Milk Day.

The board was supposed to vote on the resolution two weeks ago, but the issue was tabled, an action which in and of itself upset many in the community.

I’ll be writing a story about this tomorrow.

Linh Tat


  1. I was at the meeting. What is left out is why the School board members said they voted against it. Sweeney called the 40+ people who spoke in favor of the motion as pure “Political theater.” To paraphrase him – we have more important things to deal with. This is a divisive issue that plays into a political agenda with not much to do with running a school. He also pointed out that it was already in the California Education code which was sufficient ennoblement for a teacher to include Milk in the curriculum.

    From my perspective – that sums up what I saw there last night. Pure political theater.

  2. that don’t surprise me as they are close minded homophobes.

  3. You know what, I want Ronald Regan day observed by Fremont schoolchildren, and if you disagree with me, well then you’re an America-hating communist.

  4. There are many forms of “political theatre” that all members of a community participate in. They are usually referred to as “gestures” and generally involve little in the way of comitted resources and, thus, frequently have NOTHING to do with business of “running a school”.

    BUt the question is – What is (from Sweeney’s perspective) different about this “gesture” that makes it more or less to do with running a school – as compared to, for example – lowering the school flag to half staff on appropriate occassions ?

    Certainly, as stated above FUSD willingly participates in, directs, and plays out other acts of its own “political theatre” when it chooses to do so. The question is, why is THIS gesture being sited as in conflict with the running of a school ?

  5. P.S. – Marty –

    I wholeheartedly support your notion of a “Ronald Reagan” day and I think you should propose same. . . . and if it doesnt cost our district anything (except the time to drop a proverbial gavel) than — I hope you get it.

    I R E A L L Y hope you – get it.

    P.P.S – I recommend the Reagan museum to anyone if you haven’t been – – – very much worth the price of admission.

  6. Sorry – that was me – darn shared P.C.’s !

  7. Marty,
    #3 The first time I agree with you.

    Hats off to Larry Sweeney, Lily Mei and Ivy Wu !!!!! You were so courageous and stood up for your voters. Keep up !

  8. This certainly touched a nerve… no surprise. I think the political theater comment was aimed by Larry at the supporters, though the opponents were also pretty adamant. Sigh…

    Regarding Reagan, I never thought I’d say it at the time, but in hindsight I prefer him and Bush Sr. to Bush Jr.

    So what else happened? Anyone stay awake till the end?

  9. Thanks to the School Board who took the right decision in approval of the majority Fremont voters.

  10. My god, I misspelled the Gipper’s last name. I think I’ve been buying too many overpriced plants at that damned nursery off Thornton.

  11. Perhaps the majority of Fremont voters with closed-minds, but not majority of Fremont voters… speak for yourself Zinger, not others.

  12. I’m terribly disappointed with the three board members’ lack of compassion for the students whose lives they have such an impact on. They basically told the gay students that their state of being was too controversial, which is to say, bad.

    The Ronald Reagan comparison is bull. Reaganites are not a minority that suffers constant humiliation and discrimination. Remind me, do kids call everything uncool ‘Reagan’ or ‘gay’? Are Republican teens more likely to commit suicide than gay teens? Are two Republicans prevented from marrying each other? Well, the last one might be a good thing.

  13. Reaganites are not a minority that suffers constant humiliation and discrimination.

    They are in the Bay Area.

    Are two Republicans prevented from marrying each other? Well, the last one might be a good thing.

    SEE!!!! The ridicule! We need “Ronald Reagan Day” NOW to stop the ridicule!!!!

  14. Sweeney, Wu, and Mei have chosen to attempt a rationalization of their vote by arguing that the proposed gesture has nothing to do with the “running of a school”.

    If the requested gesture consumed anything in the way of significant district resources and, much more significantly, if there were not so many other examples of commemorative and honorary gestures already included amongst the schools’ existing activities and calendar – – this argument, might, seem reasonable.

    Since the ongoing practices of the district so obviously belie the excuse proferred, constituency, students, and faculty are forced to draw their own conclusions as to the real motives for such a choice.

  15. Those of us who were alive to remember first-hand the reign of Reagan in California and the White House know; Reagan was wrong, insensitive and mean-spirited on civil rights and other issues important to minorities. There is no way for today’s apologists to clean up that dismal record.

    Reagan was opposed to the Civil Rights Act of 1964, in the same year that Goodman, Schwerner and Chaney were slaughtered in Mississippi.

    As President, he tried to weaken the Voting Rights Act of 1965.

    He opposed a national holiday for the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.

    When he went to Philadelphia, Mississippi, in 1980, the town where the civil rights workers were murdered, and declared that “I believe in states’ rights,” he didn’t mean to signal support for white racists.

    When Reagan declared that the Voting Rights Act had been “humiliating to the South,” he didn’t mean to signal sympathy with segregationists. Those were just innocent mistakes.

    Reagan tried to eliminate the federal ban on tax exemptions for private schools that practiced racial discrimination. In 1982, when he intervened on the side of Bob Jones University, which was on the verge of losing its tax-exempt status because of its ban on interracial dating, he had no idea that the issue was so racially charged.

    In 1983, when Reagan fired three members of the Civil Rights Commission, it wasn’t intended as a gesture of support to Southern whites. It was, again, an innocent mistake.

    In 1988, he vetoed a bill to expand the reach of federal civil rights legislation. Congress overrode the veto.

    Reagan also vetoed the imposition of sanctions on the apartheid regime in South Africa. Congress overrode that veto, too.

    Poor Reagan. Innocent mistakes, again and again and again. By all means, have your Reagan Day. Those of us who remember who Reagan really was will commemorate it by continuing to work for equality for all citizens.

    (thanks Paul Krugman)

  16. Don’t worry, the philandering,elitist,horoscope following gipper is going to answer for every idle word and action in the highest of all high courts(he will not escape judgement).The great (actor)communicator will be dealt with in like manner that he treated others, and that fact cannot be disputed.

  17. Sweeney, Wu, and Mei have made it clear that they will not support the gay community; and set an example for our students that it is okay to be homophobic. They can mask it anyway they like, but their very public decision to not support the resolution, under the guise of ‘it’s already been said and done, so why talk about it,’ flies in the face of other actions they have taken to honor other civic leaders. They have made life that little bit more difficult for a group of children struggling already, though it is their job to look after the well being of ALL our students. Shame on them.

  18. Hats off to Sweeney, Wu and Mei!!! I know many parents who wish to see Fremont schools make real progress truly appreciate what they had done for the kids and our schools. If some here are not political as claimed, why attacking Sweeney, Wu and Mei as ‘against gay community’? Just because they have to serve the people who put them in the office right? Labeling them and pulling out scare tactics will not fool anyone. The other two on the board will never get mine or my friends and neighbor’s votes for sure.

  19. Those of us who remember who Reagan really was will commemorate it by continuing to work for equality for all citizens.

    I think Reagan provides an exceptional service in this respect. For many “mail it in” progressives, hating Reagan is enough to absolve their inherent ethical hypocricies. These people wouldn’t walk on the same side of the street as a group of black men, but they still pat themselves on the back for being agents of equality.

    Your slacktivism should be commended, Lifer.

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