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Redwood Bark

Redwood Bark

Twelve seniors were presented with awards to recognize their commitment to being outstanding high school athletes (Photo by Zoe Gister).
Redwood senior athletes recognized in new venue celebration
Charlotte LacyMay 30, 2024

On May 20, senior athletes, parents and coaches gathered at Sam’s Anchor Cafe in Tiburon to recognize and celebrate the seniors committed...

Smiling and holding their floats, seniors make the most of their lunch.
Seniors stay a-float for senior week
Hannah HerbstMay 29, 2024

On Tuesday, May 28, after a long Memorial Day Weekend and with only twelve more academic days left of school, leadership kicked off Senior...

Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Boys’ varsity baseball marks history with first-ever state playoff victory
Will ParsonsMay 29, 2024

On May 28, the Giants’ varsity baseball team took on the Carmel Padres in the first Norcal state playoff game in the program’s history. The...

Banning book bans: Gavin Newsom signs textbook censorship bill into law

On Monday, Sept. 25, Governor Gavin Newsom signed Bill 1078 into law, prohibiting book bans and textbook censorship in California public schools. The bill is part of Newsom’s “Family Agenda,” a platform that aims to transform the California School System to provide students with the resources to ensure academic success. The bill was signed following the creation of new anti-LGBTQIA+ policies in several California school districts. Newsom has constantly supported the Queer community and advocated for equality through his actions and words. As a result, he opposes the principles behind these policies.

Governor Gavin Newsom (left) speaking with Assembly member Dr. Corey Jackson (right) prior to signing the bill. (Photo courtesy of the Bay Area Reporter)

“With this new law, we’re cementing California’s role as the true freedom state: a place where families — not political fanatics — have the freedom to decide what’s right for them,” Newsom said in an interview with the Associated Press.

Newsom’s new law also appears to be a direct response to Florida Governor Ron DeSantis’ legislation signing bills 1557 and 1467 into law, banning books deemed “pornographic, violent or inappropriate for [students’] grade level.” Florida banned several books specifically highlighting members of the LGBTQIA+ community including “Gender Queer: A Memoir” by Maia Kobabe, “Flamer” by Mike Curato, “This Book is Gay” by Juno Dawson and others. These book bans caused much controversy, particularly from educators like Redwood Librarian Kathleen Savastano.

Infographic by Nadia Massoumi

“Information is power. If you have a student who’s struggling with their sexuality or gender identification, there is a good chance that their parents are clueless in terms of what information these kids need,” Savastano said. “But, if they can come to the library and find a book that describes what they’re going through, it’s going to help them with their mental health and help them identify themselves.”

While these issues may feel distant, they correlate to our own community as well, as confirmed by senior Alissa Wallace, who serves as president of the Students Organized Against Homophobia club.

“It’s extremely important to talk about all marginalized communities because a lot of the ignorance and hate people often have towards marginalized groups comes from not being educated on [the subject],” Wallace said.

Prior to signing bill 1078 into law Monday evening, Newsom referred to it as “long overdue,” implying book banning is a recurring problem throughout educational history. Advanced Placement United States History teacher Lindsey Kornfeld commented on the curriculum here in California, which she believes we should be grateful for.

“If we don’t acknowledge communities, particularly communities of color or marginalized communities, they remain on the margins,” Kornfeld said.

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About the Contributors
Nadia Massoumi
Nadia Massoumi, Opinion Editor
Nadia Massoumi is a junior at Redwood High School and is an opinion editor for the Bark. She enjoys listening to music, traveling with her family and friends, and baking red velvet cakes.
Ella Buske
Ella Buske, Podcast Editor
Ella Buske is a junior at Redwood High School and Podcast Editor for the Bark. She reads lots of fiction, partakes in theater, and is a sucker for personality quizzes.