They say you shouldn’t discuss politics or religion among friends. One of those rules was breached at last night’s Morongo Unified School District Board of Education meeting, causing tempers to briefly flare. Reporter David Haldane, who was there, explains…

Is it OK for public school employees to be trained at a church? Morongo Unified School District board member Karalee Hargrove thinks not. And she minced no words in saying so at the board meeting last night.

“When you run a public agency on $100 million that’s all publicly funded money and then ask all those publicly paid-for employees to go to a church for a training, I think you’re crossing a bit of a line.”

Her comments were sparked by Superintendent Tom Baumgarten’s announcement of a half-day staff development session scheduled for August 17 in the Thunderdome at Joshua Springs Calvary Chapel in Yucca Valley. Though original plans called for it to be held elsewhere, he said, no other venue could be found.

That didn’t placate Hargrove. “You don’t want to make a teacher feel out of place. They don’t feel comfortable in going to that place. And when you organize that development, you do it in an all-inclusive environment.”

But the training will go on, Baumgarten said, including a school-sponsored talent show called Morongo’s Got Talent.


  • jack

    She’s correct. Stay away from churches. Plenty of other places to meet. Maybe in a school??

  • ah202

    I don’t think Hargrove was “among friends” when she voiced her cover about this matter. She was among board members for the school district. She did not “breech” your rules of conduct. Where else would she she voice such a concern?

  • Compass

    OMG. I saw this clip and understand why people are upset. I don’t think board members should support this Joshua Springs place with this pastor guy. He may have lattent issues that make him want to say outrageous things and skew the facts. The state is committed to inclusion for all students, but at the local level, they decide to hold a meeting in this place. There is a point when you say, no. If this were a KKK establishment and they offered up their building, do you go and tell educators just to put their oppositions aside cause the building is available?

    No bigotry, thanks, whether free or paid for by morongo district.

  • oc4boxer

    Solid LOL at that video. 500 partners?

    • ah202

      Given the stance of this church on evolution and that they proclaim to teach “creation science” the school district would be wise avoid getting entangled with the church in any way that suggests they endorse their teachings. Sermons seem to be full of “alternative facts” and illustrate the (churches speakers) lack of understanding about how Science one sermon the speaker asked if evolution was true “then where are all the half ape men”? This illustrates a common misconception and general lack of understanding about how evolution works. Beyond that, the church sermons ofter are filled with is homophobic speech, inaccurate science info (“the chromosomes of males and females are completely different”). Umm, no not completely, only different by one. Additionally sex determination isn’t quite as simple as one would believe. Aside from male xy and female xx, one could end up with different combinations of sex chromosomes. Then you could have someone who has xy chromosomes but their testosterone receptors don’t work so the physically look female.

      The bottom line is the school district should not be entangled with an entity that spews such uneducated rhetoric to the community.

  • bpbudeman

    What’s next – we’ll be voting whether or not to change the name of the town to “Joshua Springs”. Our town council seems to side in favor with this church over the will of the registered voters – it’s time to shine a light Joshua Springs influence over our little town.

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