A grassroots parents group won a victory over the #RedforEd movement and the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network in Arizona last week as the State Board of Education dropped plans to introduce new sex education standards for public K-12 schools supported by those liberal groups.
“Facing a barrage of parental criticism, the state Board of Education decided Monday to scrap a proposal to remove certain language from the rules on sex education,” Tucson.com reported last Tuesday:
Monday’s decision is most immediately a defeat for Sen. Martin Quezada, D-Glendale, and allies on the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network that sought to remove verbiage that now bans the teaching of “abnormal, deviate or unusual sexual acts and practices.” Instead, that proposal sought to spell out that sex education instruction must be “medically and scientifically accurate” and that courses provide “medically accurate instruction” on methods to prevent the transmission of disease.
That provoked a firestorm of protest, with more than four-dozen foes showing up to tell the board to back off. It also raised questions from state Rep. Kelly Townsend, R-Mesa.
“Who decides what’s medically accurate?” she asked the board, suggesting that scientific studies often reach the result desired by the organization that funded the research.
According to its website, the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network has been “Championing LGBTQ issues in K-12 education since 1990.”
More than half a dozen members of the grassroots parents group #PurpleforParents, clad in purple, addressed the State Board of Education as they considered the proposed language change in the standards at Monday’s meeting.
You can see the first of those activists in this YouTube video of the board meeting here, beginning at the 1:51:37 mark.
#PurpleforParents hailed their victory in several Facebook posts:
The #RedforEd movement in Arizona aligned with the Gay, Lesbian, Straight Education Network in support of the new proposed standards.
As Breitbart News reported in February:
This teachers union effort, called #RedforEd, has its roots in the very same socialism that President Trump vowed in his 2019 State of the Union address to stop, and it began in its current form in early 2018 in a far-flung corner of the country before spreading nationally. Its stated goals – higher teacher pay and better education conditions – are overshadowed by a more malevolent political agenda: a leftist Democrat uprising designed to flip purple or red states to blue, using the might of a significant part of the education system as its lever.
The battle lines between #PurpleforParents, which opposed the proposed standards, and Arizona Educators United — the Arizona #RedforEd group that launched the movement in March 2018 — and the Gay, Lesbian, and Straight Education Network, who supported the new standards, were drawn in the days before last Monday’s eventful State Board of Education meeting.
Hours before the meeting, Arizona Educators United sounded the rallying cry on Twitter for #RedforEd teachers to attend the meeting in a show of political force:
— AZEdUnited (@AZEdUnited) June 24, 2019
But #PurpleforParents prevailed, and the State Board of Education voted not to change the standards.
Arizona Superintendent of Schools Kathy Hoffman — elected in 2018 with help early in her campaign from Noah Karvelis, the 24-year-old former Arizona teacher who launched the #RedforEd movement in March 2018 — responded to the State Board decision in a statement issued late on June 24 after they were rejected by the State Board.
“I heard from community members and parents who were concerned about the information their children would be provided if their districts were to account for LGBTQ students in health education. Arizona’s public schools exist to serve all students who walk through their doors. However, for decades, codified bigotry has denied too many children information about their sexual health,” Hoffman said in her statement.
#PurpleforParents criticized Hoffman’s reaction to the State Board’s decision.
“She just doesn’t get it. It is no surprise that a progressive #RedforEd woman with no children of her own can’t comprehend where we parents are coming from, and thinks we are confused. No miss, we are not confused … you are,” a post on the #PurpleforParents Facebook page said last Tuesday, the day after the victory.
“Purple for Parents … supports an environment that leaves politics and indoctrination at the door,” the Arizona-based group says on its website:
Our parents expect that school hours be protected from interruptions like walk-outs and strikes. Time in the classroom is precious and extremely valuable to the future of our youth.
We intend to hold the district accountable with regard to transparency. Parents have the right to know where and how taxpayer money is being spent in each school district.
Last week’s #PurpleforParents victory in Arizona’s State Board of Education is the first of several such wins the group hopes to have in the coming months.