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Arizona schools chief calls House leader’s sex ed comments ‘abhorrent’

(AP Photos)

PHOENIX — Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman called out the top Republican in the Arizona House of Representatives on Thursday over his comments regarding the state’s consideration of a change to sex education standards.

House Speaker Rusty Bowers last week told a group of parents during an event in Gilbert that comprehensive sex education would lead to more Planned Parenthood customers, sexually transmitted diseases, abortions and promote unnecessary desires, according to video captured at the event.

Bowers doubled down on his comments Thursday, saying a change in policy would be “wrong.”

Bowers also called Hoffman, a Democrat, a “radical” for supporting change to the state’s sex education standards.

“Speaker Bowers’ comments today are just as abhorrent and reprehensible as his comments made over the weekend, and they have no basis in reality,” Hoffman said in a statement.

Bowers said Thursday that there is no need to change direction for the standards, which have been around for 40 years.

He said a change to state-sponsored sex education would be “sexualizing our children for abuse.”

Hoffman, in the statement, urged Bowers to shift his focus to more urgent problems.

“My department is focused on finding solutions to the real crises facing education in this state like our persistent shortage of highly qualified teachers, one of the lowest rates of per-pupil spending in the nation and the physical safety and mental health of our students,” Hoffman said.

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