Florida school blocks younger students from reading Amanda Gorman’s ‘The Hill We Climb’ poem

USA Today, May 23, 2023, Kayla Jimenez

Youth Poet Laureate Amanda Gorman slammed officials at a school in Miami-Dade County, Florida, on Tuesday for what she called a ban on elementary students reading “The Hill We Climb,” the poem she famously recited at President Joe Biden’s 2020 presidential inauguration. The decision was made under Florida’s new Parents Rights in Education law, after one parent complained. The objecting parent incorrectly wrote in her complaint that Oprah Winfrey had authored the book and that the book “is not educational” and “have…hate messages.”

Unmasking Moms for Liberty

Media Matters, Nov. 12, 2021, Olivia Little

Moms for Liberty, a nonprofit claiming to advocate for “parental rights,” appears to be using parents as pawns to advance a far-right agenda. The group — which has quickly gained substantial media attention, becoming a right-wing sweetheart and mainstream spectacle — has attempted to paint itself as a grassroots entity driven entirely by passionate parents. But in reality, it benefits from right-wing funding and ties to traditional Republican political figures.

The history behind ‘parents’ rights’ in schools

AP News, Nov. 14, 2022, Brooke Shultz

Over the last century, the term “parents rights” has been invoked in disputes related to homeschooling, sex education and even the teaching of foreign languages in schools. In politics today, many have joined the conservative “parents rights” movement. Opponents say it promotes the false narrative that parents don’t have rights, with the ultimate goal of hollowing out public education.

Public Comments in support of trans youth at Peoria School Board meeting in Glendale, AZ

Secular AZ Facebook, April 2023

Here’s a video of how members of the public spoke up in support of trans youth. The Peoria Unified School District in Glendale, AZ had proposed a policy banning trans students from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. And guess what? The public spoke out against it and board members listened. The proposal was shot down 3-2.

Religious Right’s Attacks on School Boards: Facts & Talking Points

Secular AZ

In recent years, we’ve seen concerted attacks on school boards, with protests erupting across Arizona (and the country). Though press coverage often suggests
that the phenomenon is a “grassroots” movement, these attacks are actually a coordinated, national “astroturf” operation, orchestrated and facilitated through
a web of deep-pocketed donors and strategists via the religious right.

The Arizona Department of Education doesn’t want to protect students from discrimination

WRITTEN by Elijah Watson
Arizona Mirror, May 1, 2023

State-funded hate has no place in our great state. Yet, that’s exactly what the Empowerment Scholarship Account voucher program continues to prop up — a wide network of religious and private schools that are taking hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars while deliberately excluding LGBTQ+ students, educators, staff and even families.

These vouchers were sold under the guise of “school choice,” but it’s clearly the schools that are doing the choosing.

Just this week, the Arizona State Board of Education passed a new school voucher handbook with no protections against outright discrimination. Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne continues to openly attack trans youth on Twitter, and the Republican majority in the Legislature turns a blind eye to discrimination in voucher-funded schools.