It’s the Monday after a Peoria Unified School District (PUSD) Governing Board meeting, so you know what that means… That’s right! I am reliving the hellscape that has become the biweekly meeting happening in the West Valley.
Buckle up, Buttercup, because it was one wild ride of procedural missteps, white supremacy, and fake electors (OH MY!).
The meeting started with a very normal public hearing about the budget. Despite attempts by white Christian nationalist board members to make everything seem like a conspiracy while they whine and cry about the lack of transparency in our public schools, every public district must make their budgets public. Interestingly enough, the same cannot be said for private schools where the students aren’t tested, the curriculum doesn’t require approval, and administrators can deny admission or employment for any reason at all.
And don’t even get me started on the lack of accountability for homeschoolers.
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.
But! Whether scripture is explicitly being read at meetings by board members or not, there are a lot of Christofascists who are elected or who are showing up at school board meetings all over Arizona.
Our local school boards are the heart of our democracy, and I’ve started tracking what’s happening at these meetings as much as I am able. I submit myself to this torture so that Secular AZ members and the public know what is going on in their own backyards… and so Arizonans can make informed decisions in the 2024 election and vote for candidates who support our secular schools and government.
So without any further adieu, let’s make like MC Hammer and break it down!
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!
Here’s how members of the public spoke up against a proposed policy at Peoria Unified School District banning trans students from using bathrooms that align with their gender identity. And guess what? Members listened. The proposal was shot down 3-2.
Backlash is expected from the religious right at the next meeting on May 11th at 6PM. If you’re in the district, members will need to hear from you: 6330 West Thunderbird Road, Glendale, Arizona. Speak or just show up early and fill seats.
Justice for children is hard to find. The LDS church shielded a sexual abuser for a decade in Cochise County. When sued, the church sought to escape responsibility by scurrying behind robes. When the Cochise County judge ordered that the bishops and the clerk had to testify, the church filed a special action. Continue reading →