While many students are saddened by the loss of the à la carte menu from the lunch line, the menu now features free breakfast and lunch, thanks to the Universal School Meals Program launched by Gov. Gavin Newsom. This $54 million program, providing meals for 6.2 million students across California, is one of many ways that Newsom has impacted Paly and beyond.
Programs like these are at risk of being revoked in the upcoming gubernatorial recall election, slated for Sept. 14, fueled by conservatives unhappy with issues such as coronavirus restrictions and the French Laundry soiree.
Although there are many important issues at stake in this recall election, as students, the ones that have the most profound impact on us are student safety and equal educational opportunity. Taking these issues into account, The Campanile urges eligible students, parents and community members to vote “no” on recalling Newsom.
In the past two years, Newsom has helped enact a first-in-the-nation public health order requiring all school staff to either get vaccinated or be tested once a week. This measure has allowed Paly and other California schools to open in a safe manner and fully return to in-person instruction.
Gun control remains another issue related to student safety in an era where school shootings have become all-too-frequent. To address this issue, Newsom has signed multiple bills aimed at reducing gun violence, including controlling the sale of firearms and strengthening restraining orders for those convicted of gun violence. Because of Newsom’s commitment to gun control, California has one of the lowest firearm death rates in the U.S., and Paly students have been able to learn in a safer environment.
At the same time, the confounding frontrunner of the recall election, GOP candidate and talk show host Larry Elder, is actively rallying to end mask and vaccination mandates, putting students and staff at a greater risk of contracting COVID-19. Elder’s strong opposition to gun control puts students further at risk of being victims of a mass shooting.
Newsom’s efforts in providing an equal educational opportunity to all are also to be applauded. His $2.7 billion plan to allow all 4-year-olds in California to attend transitional kindergarten by 2025-2026, and his authorization of $656 million for special education align with The Campanile’s views about equality in education.
If Newsom were to be recalled, Paly students would face a drastic decrease in school safety and witness a widening achievement gap among other negative outcomes. As such, we encourage all of those who can vote in the Sept. 14 election to do so and to vote “no” on the recall of Gavin Newsom.