In 1965, a group of high school students were suspended for wearing black armbands to school in protest of the Vietnam War. This sparked the landmark decision Tinker v. Des Moines, in which the Supreme Court declared that students do not shed their constitutional rights at the schoolhouse gate. Tinker was focused on free speech, but what about privacy rights for students? Continue reading
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
By Adriana Clark
It all started with a Pride display in June. Every month, the staff at the Camp Verde Community Library puts together a display of library books and media highlighting a particular theme. The display gathers materials from all areas of the library, including adult fiction and nonfiction, teen fiction and nonfiction, and audio-visual materials. The June theme was “Read with Pride” and featured books by and about the LGBTQ community. Continue reading
A few weeks ago, we accomplished something big. We called on Phoenix’s Washington Elementary School District to end a teacher training contract with the discriminatory Arizona Christian University, over its policies of hate and discrimination against LGBTQ+ people.
Unfortunately, it seems high-powered lawyers from hate group Alliance Defending Freedom have pressured the school district into reversing the decision. Continue reading
On April 17th, Secular AZ joined a coalition of 19 other partners in signing the following letter to Governor Katie Hobbs. It requests vetoes of all legislation that targets LGBTQ+ youth and communities. Continue reading
The religious right seems to have exposed its latest strategy in Phoenix school boards: drain money out of public schools by attracting as many lawsuits as possible. Continue reading
Secular AZ recently sat down with Dr. Mia Bloom, author of Pastels and Pedophiles: Inside the Mind of QAnon to talk conspiracy theories in Christian socio-political movements. (Watch the full talk here.)
The conversation illuminated not-always-obvious connections between conspiracy theory culture and religious belief—as well as racism, mental illness, and more. Her conclusions illustrated that separating church and state is becoming an increasingly intersectional issue. Continue reading
‘Tis the season for right-wingers to wallow in their persecution complex whenever a public entity acknowledges the existence of non-Christian beliefs! Continue reading