On October 30, I wrote an article for the Secular AZ blog about the right to privacy that minors have in schools. But privacy isn’t our only concern when it comes to minors’ rights. The proliferation of extremist organizations like Moms for Liberty and other book banners has raised concerns about students’ access to diverse reading materials. Continue reading
Greetings, Secular fam! I’m writing up a little supplemental Substack today to talk turkey about the social media platform formerly known as Twitter.
Well, well, well, Secular Fam, I wish I could say that we’ve eradicated All Things Terrible from our local Arizona school boards, but you’re reading this, so no such luck! Last week, the Paradise Valley (PVUSD) meeting took place, and it was yet another example of deeply unserious boardsmanship and community engagement. So much for high hopes. Continue reading
Hey, hey, hey, Secular Fam, it’s October, and the scents of pumpkin spice, fall leaves, and christofascist bullsh!t are heavy in the air. So much has happened in the past week, I don’t even know where to start! I’m about to break down the Deer Valley (DVUSD) board meeting, but before that, a quick recap of school board happenings is in order.
Public schools are required to be secular institutions. Because public schools are funded by taxpayers and because children are more impressionable than adults, these schools have a special obligation not to infringe on the religious rights of their students, parents, and teachers. But what are those rights? Can coaches pray at games or not? Can teachers talk about religion in class? Can students have bible club on campus? Continue reading
Happy September, Secular Fam! We are one month into the school year here in Arizona, and the school board meetings for this 2023-2024 school year have thus far consisted of conspiracy theories, racism, bad boardsmanship, and bigotry.
Today, I’m offering up a recap of a study session in Deer Valley (DVUSD). For those who may not be up to snuff on all things School Board, a study session is a public meeting where school boards and staff can discuss issues happening in their district to learn more about them (hence the word “study”). Continue reading
You know, I have friends who basically only focus on national and international politics, and sometimes when they share the latest headlines with me, they’re surprised at my ignorance of whatever said headline was.
But that’s because I’m HYPER focused on what happens in my own backyard.
I believe we all should be. Continue reading
I debated whether to write about Peoria (PUSD) or Paradise Valley (PVUSD) this week since both meetings happened on the same night. It is A LOT to subject oneself to, but I’m a glutton for punishment and I DID watch both meetings… so I’ll give a brief breakdown of both. Continue reading
It was just the second Thursday of the month, so you know what that means! That’s right! The Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) governing board
circus meeting was back in session! Continue reading
Mesa, we have a problem.
So a friend of mine reached out to me this week to ask for some help with the Mesa Public School District Governing Board meeting because they’ve been taken over by ultra-MAGA, QAnon, Christian nationalists. I wish I could say that she was exaggerating, but…
…she wasn’t. Continue reading
The Supreme Cult has continued its attack on the underpinnings of democracy in this just finished session. We dodged a fatal bullet in the “independent legislature” nonsense and got unexpected positive rulings in the Indian Child Welfare Act and gerrymandering cases.
But we got the expected negative rulings on affirmative action and student debt. Two religious privilege cases were on the agenda, and both gave special privileges to those who claim religion as an excuse to harm other people.
In Groff v. DeJoy a rural postal carrier argued that he should be able to take all Sundays off because of his religious practice as an evangelical. To allow him to do so meant that other employees would be forced to take Sunday shifts to cover for him.
A written agreement outlined how employees are chosen to work on Sunday to deliver Amazon packages. He fell into the third category of employees compelled to work on a rotating basis.
To accommodate him, others — including the postmaster who normally did not deliver mail — did the work or it was assigned to the regional hub for other carriers. Several grumbled; one filed a written complaint. Groff received progressive discipline for failing to work and then in 2019 he resigned.
The laws against abortion that include a “fetal heartbeat” provision defy science, religion, and the law. There is no fetal tissue, no heart, and no heartbeat at the early stages of pregnancy to which these laws apply. Women are being forced to carry pregnancies based on a scientific lie.
No religious or societal consensus exists on when life begins or whether abortion is an allowable health choice. Women are forced to carry pregnancies based on the beliefs of one religion. Basing a law solely on the beliefs of one religion violates the Establishment Clause of the Constitution, because it cements into law the belief of that one religion that is contrary to the beliefs of many other religions and nonreligious people. It also violates the Free Exercise clause of the Constitution because people of any other religion or none are prohibited from practicing their religion as they see fit.