Why it is necessary to do close reads… or just read… the original documents, and not just someone’s opinion (because most writings and beliefs have implicit bias)
HB2001 was prefiled to the Arizona House on December 14, 2018. Many interpretations and discussions have arisen. Here is the Bill:
Read the first complete sentence on Page 1 of the Bill (this is page 2 of the packet which includes a cover sheet), Line 45, through Line 3 on Page 2 of the Bill. It states:
45 A TEACHER MAY EXPRESS THE TEACHER’S
1 OPINIONS ON THESE MATTERS BUT ONLY IN A MANNER IN WHICH STUDENTS
2 UNDERSTAND THAT STUDENTS MAY MAKE INDEPENDENT DECISIONS AND DISAGREE WITH
3 THE TEACHER WITHOUT INCURRING ANY PENALTY.
This Bill is written to prevent indoctrination, and is based on a Code of Ethics, which has also been misrepresented.
People are stating that teachers could be fired if they talked about LGBTQ issues. This is untrue.
Page 1 of the Bill, Line 45 through Line 3 on Page 2 of the Bill is the protection for teachers to talk about controversial issues. The rest of the Bill is protection from indoctrination.
“The rule applies to both sides.”
I am reminded of when I asked my Judge in my custody hearing for an Order that my son call me nightly (this was to ensure that he was safe). The Judge ruled in my favor, and stated in the Courtroom: “The rule applies to both sides.”
It is the same with HB2001. HB 2001 protects all students from indoctrination – from all sides. (From Page 1 of the Bill (Lines 16-19)):
16 AT A MINIMUM, THE RULES ADOPTED PURSUANT TO THIS SECTION SHALL
17 PROVIDE THAT A TEACHER MAY NOT DO ANY OF THE FOLLOWING DURING CLASS TIME
18 OR WHILE OTHERWISE OPERATING WITHIN THE SCOPE OF EMPLOYMENT AS A TEACHER
19 IN A PUBLIC EDUCATIONAL INSTITUTION:
A teacher may not (From Page 2 of the Bill (Lines 4-6)):
4 SEGREGATE STUDENTS ACCORDING TO RACE OR SINGLE OUT ONE RACIAL
5 GROUP OF STUDENTS AS BEING RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SUFFERING OR INEQUITIES
6 EXPERIENCED BY ANOTHER RACIAL GROUP OF STUDENTS.
Here is the message I shared on Facebook regarding HB2001:
A Message from Felicia:
There is a conflict with HB2001 (regarding “indoctrination” in the classroom) because it is interpreted differently, depending on the reader’s station. While this Bill is not an issue that the County Supervisors have direct influence upon, County Supervisors do have indirect influence (see “What we can improve upon/benefit from” at the end of this Message).
I wonder how many have read the draft (available in the linked article, https://www.phoenixnewtimes.com/news/arizona-lawmaker-teacher-code-ethics-david-horowitz-freedom-center-11088078)
Contrary to some arguments which say the Bill stops critical thinking, a read of the draft reveals that the Bill does *not* discourage critical thinking. The Bill discourages indoctrination.
We must recognize that it is the responsibility of the School Board to hold staff responsible and accountable to adhering to equitable policies that respect and honor each of and all of the students and members of the community.
As stated in the article, statutes already exist, which prohibit the use of schools and school resources to advocate for/endorse political candidates and issues. In fact, several teachers were fined for the time and resources they used which were deemed to be in support of their political agendas.
We must also honor and follow the process. Did you know that restorative circles, community mediation, and victim advocacy are programs which exist in the City and County? If the outcome is dissatisfactory, then the complaint should be taken to the local School Board, then to the Superintendent, then to the Department of Education.
I believe Representative Finchem when he says he is responding to the stories he has heard. I also believe that it is Representative Finchem’s responsibility to share and inform constituents about existing statutes with the community, so he can focus on the gaps and loopholes that exist in statutes.
The fight against the bill is a distraction. We must take time to set aside our egos, and avoid distractions. (Yes, my personal agenda is to add Coercive Control to the Domestic Violence statutes — http://www.feliciachew.com/enddv –, so I do not want to see distractions).
What we can improve upon/benefit from:
– accessibility to and awareness of resources
– information on the process
– community liaisons to assist with the process
– teacher education on clarifying statutes
– liaisons for teachers with questions regarding statutes
– strong support staff
– time and space for students, teachers, legislators, and community members to build healthy relationships
It sounds like a lot, but it can be done. The Flowing Wells School District and Eastpointe High School have many successful programs in place that can be modeled after.
P.S. The article states that Representative Finchem did not respond for comment. Here is the link to Representative Finchem’s blog: http://votefinchem.com/marks-blog.html
Felicia is a campaigning for the Pima County Supervisors District 3 seat in 2020. Felicia is a teacher, advocate, amplifier, and facilitator of learning. Felicia is a survivor of domestic violence, who has experienced and endured the cycle of systemic domestic abuse (abuse perpetuated by manipulation of the existing systems, including Courts). As a result of these experiences, Felicia became a volunteer victim advocate for the Pima County Attorney’s Office, and started the small business Felicia Chew Community Projects, dedicated to ending systemic domestic violence through sharing stories, wisdom, art, and perspectives. Felicia recognizes that the systems have gaps and loopholes, and that the strict interpretations of outdated policies, and lack of financial support to properly implement programs is the reason for these continued systemic failures. This is why Felicia is seeking the seat of Pima County Supervisor — to be able to update outdated policies, and ensure that the budget provides for effective (not just efficient) programs and services that are equitable, reasonable, and just, for each of us and all of us. To learn more about her work, visit http://www.feliciachew.com