ARIZONA NEWS

Arizona parents can report ‘inappropriate lessons’ in school through new hotline

Mar 8, 2023, 1:34 PM | Updated: 1:54 pm

(Pexels Photos)...

(Pexels Photos)

(Pexels Photos)

PHOENIX — The Arizona Department of Education has a new hotline for parents to call when they think their children are being taught “inappropriate lessons” in school.

“Teachers should be teaching the academic standards to their students and not abusing a captive audience by pushing their own ideology,” Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne told KTAR News 92.3 FM’s The Mike Broomhead Show on Wednesday morning.

Horne’s office launched the Empower Hotline on Tuesday so parents can report lessons they believe fall under the definition of “critical race theory,” with the focus on race or ethnicity, rather than individuals and merit.

Parents can also file complaints about materials being taught in Arizona classrooms that promote gender ideology, social emotional learning and inappropriate sexual conduct.

“If they know that their kids have been taught those things, we want them to let us know so we can investigate it and try to do something about it,” Horne said.

ADE has investigators who will respond to the complaints filed. Horne, a Republican, said that although his office “can’t stop it outright,” they will investigate to see what can be done.

“If we think that teachers are abusing their position, there could be disciplinary conduct,” he said.

Horne also is proposing that violations impact a school’s letter grade in the state’s A-F Accountability System.

Parents can submit reports by calling 602-771-3500 during business hours or by emailing empower@azed.gov. The emails are subject to release as public records.

Critics fear the Empower Hotline invites harassment of teachers.

Marisol Garcia, president of the Arizona Education Association, tweeted it’s “a recipe for disaster” that “lacks due process.”

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Arizona parents can report ‘inappropriate lessons’ in school through new hotline