For a long time, school board elections have been one of the easiest to ignore. Maybe it’s because the names on the ballot don’t stand out as much as the candidates for President, Governor, or U.S. Senate. Maybe it’s because people are too busy to research the candidates. Or maybe it’s because voters who don’t have kids—or whose kids are not in public school—don’t see how school board elections can affect them.
But if 2021 has taught us anything, it’s that even the smallest election has consequences. And nowhere has that been more obvious than with the leftist agendas that have taken over Arizona’s school districts this past year.
By now, you’ve probably already heard about attempts from various school districts throughout the state to adopt Marxist Critical Race Theory programs in their schools. But this effort to indoctrinate our children by teaching them that their moral character is determined by their race is only one of the many issues.
In Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), students are allowed and even encouraged to replace their “deadname”—the birth name that individuals reject upon transitioning genders—with their preferred name on their school ID. Behind this effort to sexualize children is a group named the Gender & Sexualities Alliance. And parents are right to be alarmed. But when they raised their concerns about such clubs being on campuses as young as middle school, SUSD Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel labeled their criticism as “targeted attacks” and bullying.
And yes, this is the same school district where the now-former Governing Board President Jann-Michael Greenburg was connected to a secret dossier on parents and other political opposition.
But Scottsdale isn’t the only school district that appears to be ok with sexualizing children. In Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD), two English teachers assigned a book containing porn and sexually explicit material as part of an AP 11th grade summer reading list. And the book was also available for any student to read in the school’s library.
Then, there’s Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) where some teachers have been pushing for a program called “Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors.” This curriculum is just a rebranded version of social-emotional learning, which is just a guise for other controversial curriculums like Critical Race Theory and Comprehensive Sex Education.
It’s amazing—but not surprising—to see the efforts they’ll go through to hide this stuff.
But this isn’t the only controversy CUSD has faced this year. The school district also appeared to coordinate with police to spy on and arrest unmasked parents.
Sadly, we’re still not done. Back in July, Higley Unified School District’s former superintendent Dr. Denise Birdwell was indicted on 18 felony counts related to procurement fraud, misuse of public monies, fraudulent schemes and practices, and more.
And finally let’s not forget about all the hypocrisy surrounding COVID. In September, Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) members were seen maskless at a conference while suing for K-12 mask mandates. And they followed that up with another conference earlier this month where multiple attendees did not wear masks despite the conference having a mask mandate.
This is just a small sampling of what’s been going on in our school district’s this past year. Are you tired of it yet?
Thankfully, there is hope. More and more parents have been speaking up, despite being labeled as “domestic terrorists.” And some school districts are starting to respond.
Perhaps most telling was this past November’s elections. Most of the bonds and overrides affecting Arizona school districts in suburban areas failed. (In many cases, they weren’t even close.) And in Virginia, Republican candidate Glenn Youngkin won the race for Governor with many believing that education was the central issue.
We can’t allow this momentum to subside.
With the close of this year just days away, we’re about to head into 2022 where there will be plenty of contentious elections across our state. And while we should focus on the important races for Governor, U.S. Senate, and more, we can’t afford to ignore what’s happening in our schools.
Start doing your research as soon as possible to see who’s running for school boards in your area—and what they stand for. Students and parents need school board members who will put them first. And remember, whether or not you have kids, what happens in our schools not only affects our state today, but it can impact your future.
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