Controversy continues to swirl around the Scottsdale Unified School District and parents are struggling to deal with the divisions and hurt feelings created by divisive curriculum and clubs. From denial to dismissiveness, the District is offering no support to parents and families as they navigate the choppy waters.
While the existence of Critical Race Theory (CRT)- based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) curriculum, policies, and practices is denied by District officials, parents and children are seeing the division it is known to create permeate their children’s classrooms.
That division was recently discussed in a video featuring Cocopah Middle School’s GSA (Gender and Sexuality Alliances) Club created for the annual GLSEN Respect Awards ceremony. The school received the Sean Nonnenmacher GSA of the Year Award.
The Sparkle Glitter GLSEN (Gay, Lesbian & Straight Education Network) Remote Fundraiser and Respect Awards video features a young girl and her mother who openly discuss the divisions the program has created on the Cocopah campus.
According to the ACLU, “Gender and Sexuality Alliances, or GSAs, are student-led and student-organized school clubs that aim to create a safe, welcoming, and accepting school environment for all youth, regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity.”
GLSEN, which prides itself on being involved in K-12 education since the 1990’s, describes itself as an organization that “works to ensure that LGBTQ students are able to learn and grow in a school environment free from bullying and harassment. Together we can transform our nation’s schools into the safe and affirming environment all youth deserve.”
The young girl in the video makes it clear that GLSEN’s presence makes safe spaces for some students, but not for others.
As critics of GLSEN note, the Critical Race Theory- based Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) and Social Emotional Learning (SEL) program creates division by placing children in either “oppressor” or “oppressed” categories.
“There was a very clear divide in the 6th graders,” says the girl, whose identity we are protecting, in the video. “Those who participated were called ‘gay,’ and those who did not were called ‘homophobic.'”
School officials, Superintendent Scott Menzel and Principal Nick Noonan did not respond to questions regarding what steps – if any – are taken by educators to address the divisiveness created by the Club’s activities.
Menzel and Noonan also refused to answer questions about the fact that middle school mostly prepubescent children are being sexualized by adults who are even going so far as to allowed to use the names they choose as part of their new gender identity rather than the legal names (dead names) given to them by their parents.
“In the case of Cocopah Middle School’s GLSEN “award” these are 11, 12 and 13 year old children. I’ve said it before and will continue to say it again and again – there is no such thing as “safe sex” for children,” former Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas told the Arizona Daily Independent. “I don’t care whether it is in a park or a shopping mall or under the guise of “public education” people who sexualize minor children should be put in jail not given awards.”
It is not just middle school students who are targets for sexualization.
Jill, a mother of two in the District, first learned of the GSA Club when her young child came home from their first day Desert Mountain High School and informed her that there was a sexuality club.
“I thought … “Why is Scottsdale Unified School District promoting a “sexuality” club to my 14-year-old kid?” Honestly, I thought it was a joke, said Jill. “I really didn’t know what to do, so I started by visiting the Scottsdale Unified School District website and submitted a question asking the school to please verify if this sexuality club really existed.”
“To my surprise, I was invited to have a phone call with the principal who confirmed that the school does have a Genders Sexuality Alliance which she framed as a mere support group for LBGTQ+ kids. Who couldn’t get on board with that? I could have stopped there and accepted that answer, but something didn’t sit right. There was a lack of details in the principal’s response. I wanted to know: What was the clubs’ goals? What was the curriculum? So, I kept asking questions.”
“Ultimately, 4 months later, I was finally connected to the teacher who leads the Genders Sexuality Alliance club at Desert Mountain High School, and she informed me in writing that the programming she used to lead the club was called GLSEN, which was an organization I had never heard of. So, I spent some time reviewing their website and I was shocked. The GLSEN programming is not about support, it’s a bigoted ideology and a full sexualized indoctrination of our kids.”
Sexualizing students is only half of what parents and educators find problematic with the GLSEN agenda.
“Here’s a quote directly from the GLSEN website directing teachers on how to implement GLSEN indoctrination: Quote “If you’re discussing gender identity, talk about the gender binary as a white supremacist concept,” explained Jill.
“GLSEN also directly asks kids to commit to the abolishment of police and promotes and frames policing as a white supremacist concept. GLSEN also promotes the idea of white supremacy as a leading cause for LGBTQ+ issues.”
In 2019, after A.R.S. 15-716, known as the “No Promo Homo” law, was repealed on bipartisan votes of Arizona legislators, a discussion about the sexualization of the classrooms has been virtually prohibited.
In June 2019, Douglas and parents showed up to the State Board of Education (SBE) meeting and successfully blocked the adoption of changes proposed by GLSEN, a LGBTQ advocacy organization into the SBE sex education rules.
However, across the state of Arizona, school boards changed their Sex Education curriculum due to the repeal of A.R.S. 15-716.
While Arizona law requires parents opt their children into Sex Education classes, some schools have avoided parental involvement by placing the controversial GLSEN agenda into schools through clubs which by law do not require parental approval for student participation.
The questionable decision-making by educators under the leadership of Menzel and the Governing Board has taken its toll. As a result, members of the Board are facing a recall effort. That effort picked up steam when it was revealed that one member of the Board, Jann-Michael Greenburg and his father Mark, were surreptitiously gathering personal information on parents and going so far as to spy on those who dared to raise concerns about a number of issues.
The alleged intimidation tactics employed by the Greenburgs and the cybersecurity breach have been handed over to the U.S. Attorney General’s Office by the Arizona Attorney General’s Office.
To learn more about the recall visit recallscottsdaleschoolboard.org.