An Open Letter to Candidates for AZ Superintendent for Public Instruction

Dear Ms. Hoffman and Mr. Riggs,

If elected, how will you ensure that nondiscrimination protections are in place for students who identify as part of the LGBTQ community?

As you may know, Arizona does not yet have statewide nondiscrimination protections that include the gender and sexual minorities. Instead, we live in a patchwork of civil rights. Phoenix, for example, extends nondiscrimination protections to citizens regardless of their sexual orientation or gender identity. Next door in Scottsdale (or Mesa or Glendale or Chandler or…), such protections do not exist.

Arizona public schools are the same. Some districts and charter schools include sexual orientation and gender identity in their nondiscrimination policies (BASIS, PVUSD). Others have not yet updated their policies to include these protected classes (Great Hearts, Mesa USD).

A supportive environment in our public schools is absolutely critical to the future success of every student. Our LGBTQ students are especially vulnerable to bullying and harassment, yet protections for this community are poorly defined.

If elected, how will you update policies at the AZ Department of Education to ensure that LGBTQ students have a safe school in which to thrive?

I am happy to connect you to local resources.

My best to you and your family,
Robert Chevaleau
Arizona Trans Youth and Parent Organization