Another week, another board meeting. After witnessing first-hand the absolute WORST example of school board behavior that I have EVER seen, I had to come back to Deer Valley (DVUSD) to check out this week’s meeting. Spoiler alert: It was messy AF.
And it’s not just messy during the meetings. Because of this wave of ultra MAGA deplorables joining their local school boards, they’re essentially trained to behave like children not only at meetings, but online as well. So where professional board members will meet with their superintendents and maintain professional relationships with fellow board members, staff, students, and parents, these extremists tend to paint everything as a conspiracy theory, act as perpetual victims, and talk about non-agendized items online.
But there are just so many reliably WRONG things happening at your meetings every other week, and our members deserve to know about them. So buckle up, throw some Bailey’s in your coffee, and let’s break it all down.
Because this last meeting was a doozy.
And be sure to check your emails in the coming days, because on my way to the PUSD meeting, I was listening to public comments at the Paradise Valley Unified School District (PVUSD) board meeting, and as soon as my stomach can handle it, I’ll be writing a breakdown of their Thursday meeting, where the tinfoil hat brigade was in full force.
Also, School Districts! Could you stop having your meetings on the same nights? Kthxbye.
Let’s get this (horrible, nightmarish) party started!
Calling all church:state separation supporters… it’s that time of year again!
That’s right, Secular Day at the Capitol is coming up on April 10! Every year, Arizonans gather from all over the state for this chance to meet your lawmakers and hear from special guest speakers. This year, we’re so pleased to welcome constitutional expert Andrew Seidel and drag sensation Barbra Seville!
This year, we’re doing things a bit differently. For reasons not yet known, the AZ Legislature has restricted citizens’ ability to organize events on the House and Senate lawns, as we’ve been doing for over a decade. But we won’t let that stop us — instead, we’re meeting near the Capitol at the Vig Fillmore restaurant. From 11am to 1pm, we’ll enjoy snacks, listen to speakers, help set appointments with your elected officials, and enjoy the company of other secular-minded Arizonans.
We want to honor the memory of Diane Uhl of Tucson. Diane was a longtime member and benefactor of Secular AZ, with a special focus on supporting and expanding our legal program.
Diane taught as a public school teacher for more than 30 years and cared deeply about education. She was married to her best friend, Steve — a former ordained priest and psychologist — for five decades. Together, they were active in the secular movement, generously supporting the Freedom From Religion Foundation, Freethought Arizona, AZ End of Life Options, Secular AZ, as well as multiple public school projects across southern Arizona.
Steve passed away in 2021, and Diane passed away in April of 2022. In line with their personal beliefs, both chose to bring about their deaths in the most pain-free and peaceful way possible.
Secular AZ is so grateful for the Uhls’ generosity. Their legacy and influence will live on.
The intersection of law, medicine and so-called “morality” in the U.S. healthcare system poses a serious threat to patients’ access to healthcare and information. That’s the overarching message sent by a panel of experts in medicine and law we convened in December of 2021. As part of our annual Secular Summit event, Secular AZ organized a discussion on refusals of service based on religious beliefs, featuring the following experts and moderated by Secular AZ Legal Director Dianne Post:
Atsuko Koyama, MD, MPH, Clinical Asst Professor University of AZ, COM, Creighton University; Dpt of Child Health and Emergency Medicine, Valleywise Health Medical Center
Professor Elizabeth Sepper, Professor of Law at the University of Texas at Austin
Dr. DeShawn Taylor, MD, MSc, FACOG, board-certified OB/GYN, clinical professor, and owner of Desert Star Family Planning in Phoenix
You can see the full video here. Let’s summarize what these experts working in the fields of medicine and law have to say about how refusals of service based on religious beliefs affect patients.