ARIZONA NEWS

Kari Lake video misrepresents opponent Katie Hobbs’ education votes

Sep 22, 2022, 1:21 PM | Updated: 2:28 pm
Democrat Katie Hobbs (left) and Republican Kari Lake, candidates for governor in Arizona's 2022 gen...
Democrat Katie Hobbs (left) and Republican Kari Lake, candidates for governor in Arizona's 2022 general election. (Facebook Photos)
(Facebook Photos)

Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake is misrepresenting the voting record of her opponent, Democrat Katie Hobbs, charging in a video released this week that her work in government shows Hobbs is “Anti-American and Un-Arizonan.”

In a 3-minute social media video, set to dramatic music and featuring patriotic visuals, Lake claims that if Hobbs is elected governor “your kindergartner wouldn’t learn the Pledge of Allegiance, but your precious 5-year-old would be taught about sex.”

But her suggestion is built on misrepresentations of Hobbs’ votes and the content of various Arizona education bills.

Lake’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment. Sarah Robinson, a spokesperson for Hobbs, said in a statement that “Kari Lake’s latest political theater is just another distraction from her own extreme positions.”

Here’s a look at the facts.

LAKE: “As a legislator, Hobbs actually voted to block the Pledge of Allegiance, our national anthem, our Constitution, the Declaration of Independence and even the Mayflower Compact from being taught to the next generation of Americans right here in Arizona.”

THE FACTS: Lake is distorting Hobbs’ voting record. When Hobbs was a state senator, she voted against Senate Bill 1289, which amended an existing law listing materials that teachers and school administrators are allowed to read or post in school facilities. That list includes the Pledge of Allegiance and the national anthem, among other documents. The bill added the Arizona state motto, “Ditat Deus,” which means God enriches, to the list. It also spelled out the wording of the national motto, adding “In God we trust,” to the list. No other changes were made.

The bill, which was approved by lawmakers and signed into law, did not affect the portion of the law that permits school staff to read or post the Pledge of Allegiance, the national anthem, or the other documents Lake identified, experts say.

“It’s an incorrect claim. It’s a charge that’s untrue,” said Paul Bender, a law professor at Arizona State University. “She voted simply not to add to those things, ‘In God we trust’ and ‘God enriches’.”

“The state statute already set forth the items that may be read or posted in school buildings, including the national anthem,” said Paul Bentz, Republican pollster in Phoenix. “None of those items were in question.”

If the bill had failed to pass, the original law allowing school staff to read or post materials such as the Declaration of Independence in schools would not have changed, Barrett Marson, a Phoenix-based Republican political consultant wrote in a text message to The Associated Press.

In a tweet on Wednesday appearing to double down on her previous accusations, Lake added another claim: that Hobbs opposed displaying American flags. As evidence, she cited Senate Bill 1289, Senate Bill 1020, and Senate Bill 1152. An AP review of these bills found no instance in which Hobbs voted against displaying the flag in schools.

___

LAKE, on what would happen in Hobbs’ Arizona: “Your precious 5-year-old would be taught about sex.”

THE FACTS: As a state senator, Hobbs did sponsor a bill to require school districts to teach sex education in grades K-12. The bill, which didn’t pass, would have resulted in parents being required to proactively remove their child from being taught the curriculum, rather than opting in to participate.

However, to claim that it would have led to 5-year-olds being taught about sex leaves out important context.

The bill, introduced in the 2016 legislative session, would have mandated that the sex education program for kindergarten through 12th grade be “medically accurate, developmentally accurate and age-appropriate.” It defined age-appropriate as “topics, messages and teaching methods that are suitable to particular age and developmental levels, based on cognitive, emotional, social and experience levels of most students at that age level.”

At the developmental stage of a 5-year-old, age-appropriate sex education largely involves learning about the concept of “good touch, bad touch” — not learning about sex as a physical act, experts say.

“At the kindergarten level, age-appropriate sex education means things like learning the correct names of body parts, which has been found to be a protective factor against sexual abuse,” said Nora Gelperin, director of sexuality education and training at Advocates for Youth, an organization that supports comprehensive sex education. “It can also mean teaching kids that they need permission to touch someone else — the beginning of learning about personal boundaries. At this age, kids may also be taught to identify a safe person to talk to if they’re in trouble. All the lessons are in service of ensuring safety and respect.”

Arizona is one of just five states that require parents to “opt-in” to sex ed classes, rather than having an opt-out system. State law bans sex education before 5th grade, and schools are not required to offer the courses at all. Students younger than 5th grade can only be offered instruction on HIV and sexual abuse prevention.

Lifetime Windows & Doors

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Pass it along to the KTAR News team here.

Arizona News

(Facebook Photo/Grand Canyon University)...
KTAR.com

Grand Canyon University student injured after being hit by stray bullet

Grand Canyon University announced that one student was hit by a stray bullet after multiple gunshots were heard near campus.
1 day ago
(Pexels Photo)...
KTAR.com

Arizona awarded over $20M in federal funds for school safety

The United States Department of Education awarded $20,826,927 to Arizona as part of the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act.
1 day ago
Registrar Kristen Schmidt takes stock of the painting "Seated Man" by Elaine de Kooning, wife of Wi...
Associated Press

Arizona museum exhibit marks end to de Kooning painting saga

Nobody could have predicted a Willem de Kooning painting stolen in 1985would find its way back to an Arizona museum.
1 day ago
(Facebook Photos L-R/Kris Mayes for Arizona, Abraham Hamadeh for Attorney General)...
KTAR.com

Watch: Arizona Attorney General candidates Kris Mayes, Abe Hamadeh debate

Candidates for Arizona Attorney General Kris Mayes and Abe Hamadeh faced off in a debate Wednesday night.
1 day ago
From left, Arizona Senate President Karen Fann and Secretary of State Katie Hobbs (AP Photos)...
Kevin Stone

Arizona GOP leaders push Hobbs to reject referendum blocking school voucher expansion

Arizona Republican leaders want Secretary of State Katie Hobbs to quickly reject the referendum that’s blocking school voucher expansion.
1 day ago
(Drug Enforcement Agency Photos)...
KTAR.com

8 million fentanyl pills seized in Arizona during 4-month DEA operation

The Drug Enforcement Agency said it seized 10.2 million fentanyl pills, the vast majority in Arizona, during a just-completed enforcement operation.
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

...
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Ways to prevent clogged drains and what to do if you’re too late

While there are a variety of ways to prevent clogged drains, it's equally as important to know what to do when you're already too late.
...
Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine

Why your student-athlete’s physical should be conducted by a sports medicine specialist

Dr. Anastasi from Mayo Clinic Orthopedics and Sports Medicine in Tempe answers some of the most common questions.
...
Dr. Richard Carmona

Great news: Children under 5 can now get COVID-19 vaccine

After more than two years of battle with an invisible killer, we can now vaccinate the youngest among us against COVID-19. This is great news.
Kari Lake video misrepresents opponent Katie Hobbs’ education votes