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Last year, the California Healthy Youth Act went into effect, making it mandatory for public junior high and middle schools to teach students “comprehensive, accurate, and unbiased” sex education. That includes lessons on the “effectiveness and safety” of birth control, the fact that abortion is a legal option for those who want it, and that there are non-traditional sexual orientations.

Naturally, even in California, that didn’t sit well with everybody. Fresno Unified school board President Brooke Ashjian was one of those parents. His own kids opted out of sex education, but he went much further than mere disagreement with the new policy last August.


“My biggest fear in teaching this — which we’re going to do it because it’s the law — but you have kids who are extremely moldable at this stage, and if you start telling them that LGBT is OK and that it’s a way of life, well maybe you just swayed the kid to go that way,” Ashjian said. “It’s so important for parents to teach these Judeo-Christian philosophies.”

This guy literally believes that telling kids gay people exist is enough to turn them gay.

And then he kept talking.

“There’s certainly a lot of psychological effects that come from abortion that people need to be aware of,” Ashjian said. “Your life is a lot easier by not doing it. Look at these poor girls who get raped and have to have an abortion. If that’s the way they’ve got to go, God bless them. But think of all the repercussions that come later in life, mental and psychological.

This guy literally believes that girls who get raped will be more traumatized by an abortion than everything that led up to that point.

When people began criticizing him on Twitter, he just pulled the Donald Trump card and acted like he was the target of a witch hunt.

As if his bigoted remarks were somehow out of context…

The good news, if there was any, was that Ashjian was virtually alone in his dissent, even if he was the school board president. His complaints weren’t going to change what was taught. And then in December, he was replaced as board president.

Now there’s even better news.

Ashjian just announced that he won’t be seeking re-election in November. He’s pulling a Paul Ryan, too, insisting this is about spending more time with his family, not about how many of his most notable ideas have been awful.

Ashjian said he’s not running for any other office this year and will instead focus on his family, which includes his wife, four children and one grandchild.

“If I ran again, I would win,” Ashjian said.

Well, he’s not running again, and he won’t be missed.

May other right-wing extremists follow him into obscurity later this year.

(Image via Facebook. Thanks to @TheJMC23 for the link. Large portions of this article were published earlier)

Hemant Mehta is the founder of, a YouTube creator, podcast co-host, and author of multiple books about atheism. He can be reached at @HemantMehta.

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