New Board Member
Superintendent Watson has appointed Rebecca Proudfit as new Governing Board member. Proudfit's is a self-described social media influencer, former podcaster, and speaker for a tour organized by Deseret Industries. (Her content is aimed at a Christian audience but seems largely apolitical, geared toward wellness and lifestyle for LDS women.) Other professional experience indicates a background developing the Walt Disney World FastPass system
Anti-LGBTQ+ group Purple for Parents posted outrage at Superintedent Watson over Proudfit’s past support for Black rights and school labor causes.
What do you think? Contact Superintendent Watson here.
- For months, Clerk Rooks has been paraphrasing the district’s motto “Every student, every day” with the addendum “except the girls.” (Implying the district is endangering girls by supporting LGBTQ+ rights.) This last meeting was the first where we noticed Rooks seems to have given up the stunt.
- Some audience members opposed an agenda item sending a coach to a conference, because it included Social Emotional Learning (SEL) and Diversity Equity & Inclusion (DEI). See the conference agenda here to judge the its merits for yourself.
- Clerk Rooks complained about the conference because it featured a speaker from the National Education Association. Her reason given was that NEA supports Black Lives Matter.
- Board members heard public comments complaining about pro-LGBTQ+ bathroom policies, as well as keeping schools open during hot months (when underprivileged students use schools for shelter).
Next meeting: 11/16 6pm - 6330 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale
Contact board members
Watch full meeting on Youtube
Paradise Valley Unified School District
Member Sandra Christensen made a point to declare she has been praying to “the Almighty one” over in support of the Jewish people, then expressed outrage that a teacher who committed suicide following sexual misconduct allegations was not branded as a sex offender in the district’s announcement about the death. It is important to note that the police had not yet concluded their investigation of the incident before the death, let alone had a trial been held.
The incident represents a possible violation of privacy. It is also important to note that politicians have historically used the method of publicly branding people as criminals to incite anger and violence for political gain. Board presidents have a responsibility to gavel accordingly.
Contact the Board
Next meeting: 11/16 6:30 PM 15002 North 32nd Street, Phoenix
After a contentious monthslong debate, the East Valley's Higley Unified School District resolved its longstanding student dress code issue. The debate primarily revolved around whether students should be allowed to show midriffs.
The midriff ban was brought up as part of a package of reforms intended to prevent student sexual abuse in the wake of a molestation scandal. Critics pointed out this represented a form of victim-blaming.
Ultimately, the board voted 3-2 on a policy not explicitly banning midriff exposure, while still requiring clothes "cover all private body parts."
Read more (AZ Republic)
Illegal coordination suspected among anti-public ed campaigns
Nearly two dozen Maricopa County school districts are asking for money this November election through bonds and overrides. "No" vote signs have been proliferating which are striking similar, despite the fact that they are supposedly funded by different entities. This indicates possible illegal coordination.
If you have further information about these signs, please contact us by replying to this email.
Secular AZ in American Atheists Magazine
Secular AZ Executive Director Jeanne Casteen was featured in American Atheists magazine, reporting on their highly-anticipated National Conference in Phoenix last spring! (Magazine is by subscription through AA.)
Upcoming School Board Meetings
Volunteer to monitor meetings here.
- Mesa Public Schools: 11/14 at 6:30 PM - 549 S.Stapley Dr., Mesa
- Peoria Unified: 11/16 6pm - 6330 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale
- Paradise Valley Unified: 11/16 6pm - 15002 North 32nd Street, Phoenix
- Chandler Unified: 11/15 at 7:00PM - 525 W Frye Road, Chandler
- Scottsdale Unified: 11/14 at 6PM - Board Room/Lecture Hall at Coronado High School, 7501 E. Virginia Avenue
- Deer Valley Unified: 11/14, 11/28 at 6PM - 20402 N. 15th Avenue, Phoenix
- Mingus Union: 11/9 at 6pm - 1801 E. Fir St., Cottonwood (library)
- Catalina Foothills: 11/14at 6:30 PM Carole Siegler Boardroom at 3435 E. Sunrise Dr., Tucson
- Fountain Hills: 11/8 at 6PM 16000 E. Palisades Blvd., Fountain Hills
Cancer fundraiser for school board member
Member Ann Elizabeth Ordway—a reliable voice of reason at Deer Valley Unified School District—has shared that she has cancer and will be undergoing chemotherapy treatment. A constituent in her district has put together a fundraiser to help her with treatment, and if you’re so moved, show this tireless public servant of 14 years your appreciation.
WATCH: FFRF Conference
We attended the FFRF Annual Conference. (Watch on Youtube.) Speakers' takes on the current climate in the US with regards to Christian nationalism were both terrifying and hopeful, including inspiring essays by students.
Volunteers needed to collect signatures for abortion amendment
Arizona for Abortion Access has launched the petition gathering effort to put abortion on the ballot in 2024. The “Arizona Abortion Access Act” would enshrine the fundamental right to abortion in Arizona’s constitution for generations to come. The amendment is critical to ensure abortion access in the state.
The campaign must collect 383,923 valid signatures from Arizona voters by July 3, 2024 in order to qualify on the ballot. Sign up to be a volunteer here.
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