The media are rightfully reporting that the Arizona Speaker of the House, Russell Bowers, and State Senator Sylvia Allen, is regurgitating false, zealous, and reactionary talking points on attempts by Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman and her team to bring the health education guidelines (including those related to sex education) into the Twenty-First Century.
The Superintendent, as earlier reported, has ably defended her position, posting on Facebook that:
“As elected state leaders, it is critical we serve our state by collaborating on policies, even when our perspectives differ. My office has reached out to many legislators, including Speaker Bowers and Sen. Allen to find time for us to meet prior to the next legislative session.”
“I’ve had productive meetings with members of both parties, but my requests to Speaker Bowers and Sen. Allen have been met with silence. We should be able to have rational, civil conversations – and even work to find common ground on the issues facing our state’s education system.”
“It is extremely disappointing and discouraging that Speaker Bowers and Sen. Allen would rather publicly spread outrageous falsehoods than meet with me and listen to each other.”
“Sex-ed is an issue that should be addressed at the local district level, with local school boards choosing curriculum with the community and parental input. But at a minimum, our students deserve medically and scientifically accurate information that is also age-appropriate.”
“The health and safety of Arizona’s students is one of my top priorities, and I hope Speaker Bowers and Sen. Allen will be able to find time to meet and discuss ways we can come together to best support Arizona’s students.”
What the media should also be doing is asking Speaker Bowers and Senator Allen these two follow up questions:
- Why have you not picked up the phone to discuss health education policy with the Superintendent of Public instruction? It seems like the logical thing to do if one wants to get all perspectives before publicly relaying false reactionary talking points.
- Why would you attend a conference sponsored by a designated hate group? The Family Watch International Organization has been cited by the Southern Poverty Center for its bigoted views and prescriptions towards members of the LGBTQ Community.
Speaker Bowers (who is the speaker for all the people in Arizona) and Senator Allen, two public servants that represent all members of the LGBTQ community in their districts, owe the public an explanation on why they would attend such a conference sponsored by so contemptible a group.
For that matter, why are Republicans in this state (remember going to events attended by the Patriot Movement or luncheons with Anti Semites as honored guests) and country catering to these fringe groups with increasing regularity?
Do the people in this state really want to keep a mainstream political party in power that normalizes the lowest of the low?