It’s been one week since the Department of Education launched the “Empower” hotline. It’s been controversial from day one, as the Superintendent said it’s meant to report inappropriate school lessons, including critical race theory.
Arizona schools chief Tom Horne has launched the Department of Education “Empower Hotline” so that Arizonans can report inappropriate public school lessons that detract from teaching academic standards. These include those that focus on race or ethnicity, rather than individuals and merit, promoting gender ideology, social emotional learning, or inappropriate sexual content.
The hotline provides the opportunity for constituents to provide feedback, concerns or complaints, which is a standard service offered by multiple government agencies and private-sector businesses. It is available at 602-771-3500, or through email at [email protected]. The phone line will be staffed during normal business hours, but after-hours phone calls as well as emails will be accepted at any time and followed up appropriately.
Horne explained, “Some say critical race theory (CRT) is a graduate study, not taught in K-12 schools. The evidence is to the contrary. I have a list of 250 Arizona teachers who signed a shocking statement promoted by the national teachers’ union, that if critical race theory were banned, they would defy the law. They would not have signed if they were not already teaching it. They come from 25 school districts, including the largest ones. Teachers must teach academics, not use their power over a captive audience, to promote their personal ideology. That is unprofessional conduct.”
Horne added, “I promised to establish this hotline so that anyone could report the teaching of inappropriate lessons that rob students of precious minutes of instruction time in core academic subjects such as reading, math, science, history and the arts. That promise is being kept.”
“I believe we are all individuals, brothers and sisters under the skin, entitled to be judged by what we know, what we can do, our character, and ability to appreciate beauty,” Horne explained. “Race is irrelevant to anything. Critical race theory teaches the opposite, that race is primary. They divide students into ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressed’ based on what race they were born into, which is irrational,” he concluded.