Arizona’s schools are under siege. Through the attempted implementation of Critical Race Theory in our schools, the pushing of teachers’ personal political ideologies in the classroom, or through secret dossiers being compiled on parents who speak out against radical school boards – parents are being pushed out of the decision-making process for their children with the Biden Administration labeling them “Domestic Terrorists.” Arizona needs to elect an Attorney General who will fight for parents, and force teachers to leave their personal political philosophies at home.
Our state is making progress in implementing policies to prevent political indoctrination in the classroom. For instance, House Republicans are working to pass a bill, HB 2112, that will ban many issues that get conflated with critical race theory from being taught in public schools. The law essentially aims to guarantee that teachers are not allowed to teach that an individual, by virtue of the individual’s race, ethnicity or sex, is inherently racist, sexist, or oppressive, whether consciously or unconsciously.
If this bill is passed, Arizona will need a mechanism by which to guarantee that this law is being followed in our classrooms. That is why this past November, as part of my campaign for Arizona Attorney General, I proposed a new resource for families, parents, and students at the Arizona Attorney General’s office — the Office of Parental Education Advocacy (OPEA). The OPEA will be an office of attorneys dedicated solely to enforcing state laws related to curriculum, privacy, procurement, health and safety.
It is a disgrace that the leeway in our public school system has been used and abused to allow our children to be exposed to harmful and radical teachings during the school day, whether or not Arizona’s laws are being followed. The OPEA will ensure that our children are protected when school boards or administrators attempt to overreach into family decisions.
As the father of school-aged daughters, this issue is very personal for our family. For developing children, the classroom is an especially formative environment. Over the years, my wife has served on a locally elected public school board and now serves on a charter school board. Every family in Arizona, no matter their income or zip code, should be able to choose which school their children attend, whether private, public, or a charter school. To improve our education system, we must give parents the ability to take their tax dollars elsewhere when they disagree with the practices of a school and provide access to legal resources when those practices cross legal boundaries.
This is why we must create the OPEA, an office where parents will have direct access to attorneys dedicated to preventing divisive curriculum in the classrooms and perverse books in school libraries. Parents should be free to make education decisions for their children, without the aggressively political input of government bureaucrats with ulterior agendas. The OPEA will give parents an advocate to investigate on their behalf, and as Attorney General I will be a vigilant defender of parental rights.
Rodney Glassman is currently Major in the United States Air Force JAG Corps Reserve and practicing attorney at Beus Gilbert McGroder PLLC. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.