Many were hopeful when school board members were elected in 2022 who promised to focus on academics and bring common sense and financial transparency to school districts. It is an uphill battle, but at least a few Arizona governing board members have their eyes on the situation. Other school districts appear to be hopeless, like Phoenix Union (PXU), Tucson Unified, and Tempe Union High School District (TUHSD), as solid candidates who expect school districts to focus on academics stand very little chance to win.
Maybe they see the writing on the wall, it may be a complete waste of money and time. Even if a non-blue haired, straight, Christian candidate who supports reading, writing, and arithmetic over LGBTQ Safe Spaces did win, the battle to refocus the district is monumental. The money flow and web of Big Education personalities is so interwoven we don’t know if positive change can be made at this point.
In 2016, Tempe Union High School hired Dr. Clifford Moon to oversee
math, science, reading Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion.
Keep your ears open for Restorative Justice. It’s the dirty little secret which is taking over schools and society. It is what runs Phoenix Union High Schools, and we can see how that is not working as the students regularly record fights on many of the campuses. Simply put, Restorative Justice limits punishment for offenders. Instead, the victim may be sent to training (indoctrination) to learn how to be more sensitive to the perpetrator, especially if the perpetrator is a minority, LGBTQ, an immigrant, or any other unique circumstance. The perpetrator gets to remain in school and continue to disrupt. We can look at PXU to see the direction Tempe Union is headed.
As per the TUHSD webpage, Dr. Moon has been very busy fulfilling his promises. Tempe Union is a cornucopia of Social Emotional Learning (SEL), Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity (DEI), LGBTQ, and now Restorative Justice. No wonder teachers who want to teach leave the profession. But the problem is systemic, from top to bottom. There is so much money to be made and spent on these programs, even Republicans fall for the temptations. More on that later.
Almost three years ago, Tempe Union’s governing board passed a resolution prioritizing mental health over academics. Ron Denne, a psychologist in the district, was hired to coordinate Social Emotional “Wellness” and the following word salad was produced.
The truth is Social Emotional Learning is designed to shape the child’s developing brain to accept particular worldviews regarding sexuality, racial attitudes, and other social issues under the guise of providing a mental health benefit. Sacred family beliefs may be classified as unkind or unacceptable instead of a matter of morality. SEL teachings force students to choose between two leaders in authority over them (their parents versus their teacher) with opposing directives. The child is then left to “flesh out” which path is the one that will bring him the most relief in order to survive.
Dr. Moon has been busy communicating with staff members in 2023 and sharing many links to various shiny, glossy publications. Unfortunately, the TUHSD staff seems to be falling for this.
What is “School Safety Reimagining School Safety Guide” Dr. Moon attached in the email? It’s a 40 page document which leads folks to believe the goal is school safety, but it’s really a bait and switch for Social Emotional Learning. Here are pages one and two, pay close attention to what we noted on page two.
There was wailing and nashing of teeth in some districts which were unsuccessful getting their bonds and overrides passed in November 2023. The local media was appalled at those who voted against the tax increases. These programs are not free and they do very little to educate children and that is why there was pushback. Instead, districts incur costs to run and maintain the programs (so they can plead for more money and personnel) and like we can see above, a grant (our taxes) funds this particular publication. How easy it is to justify diversity directors, school mental health counselors, dentists, LGBTQ professional development, and other Whole/Community School programs in districts when we pretend the funds are not coming out of our own pockets.
Let’s take a look at this particular grant. We’ve inserted a few screenshots below.
What is WestEd, the company which won the award and put together the glossy documents Dr. Clifford Moon shared? Here is the X profile, notice there is nothing about school safety.
Below is a link to WestEd’s Board of Directors. Should we be surprised at the Arizona ties? Well, maybe some of them.
Those who think sending your children to Grand Canyon University will protect them from all the anti-family, anti-American agendas because it is a Christian university, think again.
Then there is Phoenix Councilwoman Ann O’Brien. Best of all, Mrs. O’Brien is currently Deer Valley Unified School District’s Governing Board President. How is SEL doing in Deer Valley?
Finally, maybe WestEd’s most surprising tie to Arizona is at the top, Arizona Superintendent Tom Horne, a Republican. In addition, one of the Superintendent’s top assistants, Joseph Guzman, is also on the WestEd Board of Directors.
Many parents where thrilled when Superintendent Horne was elected, as he immediately removed the agency’s QChat link and spoke often about empowering parents. Recently the role of counselors and social workers in Arizona schools has been exposed by local activists. Read about the power of school personnel here and here on A Legal Process’s Substack. It has been a chore to clean up the Arizona Department of Education after the LGBTQ free-for-all by Superintendent Horne’s predecessor. However, concrete ties to WestEd, an organization which works AGAINST parents and the academics which Superintendent Horne cherishes is a headscratcher. Here is an overview of WestEd’s goals.
All the red flags are listed above: Equity, Social Emotional Learning, and Whole Person, which is code for Whole/Community Schools.
While a handful of dynamic, hard-working school board members are trying to refocus their districts on academics, they are being thrown under the bus by the federal government and the Arizona Department of Education. Does Superintendent Horne really want to empower parents? Can he protect Arizona students from rogue school counselors when he is part of an organization which enables non-academic, unlicensed counselors around kids, often without parental permission? Is Superintendent Horne really concerned about the dangerous campuses in Phoenix Union due to Restorative Justice practices when he is on the board of WestEd, which promotes Restorative Justice? Only time will tell, but each day which goes by costs us another child and divides another family.