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Carlsbad Unified School District passes diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging plan

Carlsbad Unified School District's board meeting at Sage Creek high School. June 21, 2023.
Tania Thorne
Carlsbad Unified School District's board meeting at Sage Creek high School. June 21, 2023.

Division over Carlsbad Unified School District's plan on diversity, equity, inclusion and belonging (DEIB) continued during a school board meeting Wednesday night.

But this time, the school board voted 4-1 to pass the plan with Gretchen Vurbeff opposed.

The decision comes more than two years after the DEIB plan was first introduced. The subject has packed Carlsbad school board meetings multiple times with community members for and against the plan.


Wednesday's vote happened after hours of deliberation and over 70 speakers voicing their opinions on the matter.

"Equity and diversity and inclusion is how we move this country forward. Whatever it is you're doing now, is not it. It will happen with you, or without you," said one speaker who identified as Tom, a Carlsbad parent.

"Parents should be the ones to determine when and where their specific students learn about the sexual matters that DEI seeks to teach all the students as a whole," said speaker Guido Ponce. "I believe that the board of trustees would be wise in focusing their efforts to improve the district by spending precious class time and resources on poor academics. Please vote no."

Some of the biggest pushback on the plan has come from members of Carlsbad’s Mission Church. They have demanded full transparency of curriculum, the protection of parental rights and that no sexual or gender ideology be taught.

Carlsbad superintendent Dr. Benjamin Churchill responded to some of the criticism against the plan. "Its been alleged that these activities are a Trojan horse for teaching about critical race theory. This is simply not true," he said. "Its been alleged that the plan lowers academic standards (and) eliminates consequences for misbehavior. This is simply not true. It's been alleged that we are providing medical care including surgery and life altering drugs to students. This is not true."


The plan will be implemented in phases over the course of three years. The first year will concentrate on reviewing school board policies and school facilities for any updates needed.

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