FUSD School Board President Brooke Ashjian: "I Will Never Resign"

Fresno Unified School Board President Brooke Ashjian said he will never resign. The Nation's largest LGBT civil rights organization, The Human Rights Campaign, said he should step down after his quotes on LGBT curriculum in the Fresno Bee stirred controversy.

Ashjian claims his words were taken out of context by the newspaper's reporter. He commented on the request for his resignation on Friday and said, "This is the craziest thing I've ever heard of."

The Human Rights Campaign, which is based out of Washington, D.C., is demanding that Ashjian step down.

"Let me just be clear. I will never resign. And second of all, I don't back up. I don't even have reverse in my car. I'm not backing up," exclaimed Ashjian.

The school board president said the demands have actually made him more determined, than ever.

He said, "I'm not upset, I'm not regretful, I'm probably more passionate than ever of kids and how we should and how education should go."

It's been two days since the dust has settled from a tumultuous school board meeting. It was the first meeting for the district, since Ashjian made comments to the Fresno Bee newspaper about LGBT curriculum in sex education.

Ashjian said, "What I said was, children are extremely impressionable and moldable, and I think the first line of defense of sex education should be taught in the home by the parent, by the caregiver."

Prominent local conservative activist Mike Der Manouel is a parent, who agrees with Ashjian's beliefs.

Der Manouel said, "Our curriculum at home is the best. The State's is not as good is ours."

The Human Rights Campaign disagrees. HRC Chad Griffin released a statement on Thursday that said in part, "The role of any school administrator is to treat all children with respect and dignity. Ashjian has failed in that responsibility woefully, and he should step down from his position immediately."

LGBT Fresno said it hopes the national attention on this story will force Ashjian to step down.

"I think that for the good of the school district, and the students, that somebody else should be in his position," said Jason Scott with LGBT Fresno, formerly Gay Fresno.

Though Ashjian disagrees with the current sex-ed curriculum, he did vote two years ago to adopt the new standards because California law requires it.


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