The email asked readers to “defend our kids” against a new resource put out by the Arizona Department of Education that offers support for LGBTQ+ students.
As the nation mourns the 19 children and two teachers the were killed in Uvalde, Texas, and tries to comprehend why these senseless murders continue to happen, the Republican Party of Arizona thought it would be an excellent time to attack Arizona schools and the LGBTQ+ community.
The AZ GOP sent out a fundraising mailer accusing the Arizona Department of Education and Arizona’s State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman of hosting “sex chat rooms” between adults and children.
A Valuable Resource
The truth is that the Arizona Department of Education is providing credible and reliable resources to students, parents, and school staff on how to best support LGBTQ+ students in schools and communities.
According to the Arizona Department of Education, the adults engaging in support with other adults and students are members and allies of the LGBTQ+ community as part of ADE’s Equitable and Inclusive Practices Advisory Council.
Some of the resources available to students and adults include the Q Chat Space, which provides online discussion groups for LGBTQ+ teens ages 13 to 19. It is live and chat-based. There is no video or audio, and conversations are facilitated by experienced staff who work at LGBTQ+ centers around the country.
The other option is the Gender Spectrum free online groups for pre-teens, teens, parents, caregivers, and other family members and adults. These groups provide the opportunity to connect with others, share experiences, and feel the comfort of a supportive community.
However, the AZ GOP also claims that the online chat room features a quick escape link “in case a kid wants to hide it from their parents.” The quick escape option is actually a simple way to close out the page.
Hoffman responded to the mailer by tweeting, “the single most disgusting thing I’ve seen this year is the AZ GOP attacking the LGBTQ community while the rest of us grieve children and teachers who were murdered in their classroom.”