Hoffman to Bowers: Stop spreading conspiracies from hate groups

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman. Photo by Jim Small | Arizona Mirror

Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman is punching back at House Speaker Rusty Bowers, who on Saturday called her “a radical” for wanting to teach medically accurate sex ed in schools and today said her proposal was tantamount to “teaching my kids how to masturbate.” 

Earlier this week, she told the Arizona Capitol Times that Bowers, the top Republican in the state House, was “using fear tactics and propaganda to mobilize his base.”

But in a written statement this afternoon, Hoffman unloaded on Bowers. She said his most recent comments “are just as abhorrent and reprehensible as his comments made over the weekend, and they have no basis in reality.”

She continued: 

“My department is focused on finding solutions to the real crises facing education in this state like our persistent shortage of highly qualified teachers, one of the lowest rates of per-pupil spending in the nation and the physical safety and mental health of our students. I urge Speaker Bowers to join me in working to find solutions to these critical challenges instead of spending his time amplifying conspiracy theories being pushed by known hate groups.”

It’s unclear what conspiracy theories Hoffman was referring to. It could be the assertion that Bowers made at the education forum in Gilbert on Saturday that Planned Parenthood supports comprehensive sex education because it teaches children how to have sex, which leads to more sexually transmitted diseases and unwanted pregnancies, both of which are good for Planned Parenthood’s “bottom line.”

Or it could refer to comments by groups like Family Watch International, which gave a presentation at the Saturday forum, that organizations pushing for medically accurate, age-appropriate sex education in schools are doing so in order to make children comfortable with “transgender ideology” so they will explore it and discover they are homosexual or transgender.

Suffice to say that Hoffman, the first Democrat to hold her position since 1995, is gearing up for a contentious legislative session when January rolls around.


  1. Rusty Bowers: “…her proposal was tantamount to “teaching my kids how to masturbate.”

    That’s a real laugh. Kids don’t need to be taught how to masturbate. It just comes naturally.
    Doesn’t Bowers realize that this statement makes him sound like somebody reaching for straws? I suppose not or he would not have made it.

  2. Go gittem Kathy Hoffman!!

    Thanks for standing up and challenging Rusty Bowers. It makes me sick and tired every day when GOP elected officials say anything they want to without any facts or proof to back up their outrageous comments. I applaud you for responding.

  3. Way to go Kathy Hoffman! I appreciate your efforts to improve our state’s education system. At a time when Maricopa county rates for HIV have increased, our students need education on the science behind STDs acquisition and how to prevent.

  4. This upsets me so much that I’m having a hard time trying not to explode into a profane laced rant, so please bare with me. It’s a damn shame that we have our elected officials supporting and promoting conspiracy theories instead of working for the good of the people. The lies being spread about proper education and Planned Parenthood are a disgrace and a con. I commend Kathy Hoffman for standing up to people like Bowers and the lies being spread. We have to also remind ourselves that this is not about politics or what political party you’re affiliated with. This has to do with the health and well being of our children. By understanding their bodies, our children have a better chance at being healthy. Plus, they have a better chance of making the right decisions. By giving way to these conspiracy theorists, we are putting our children and ourselves at risk. Conspiracy theorists make their money by supposedly exposing conspiracies which have no merit at all and what’s even worse, as well as dangerous, are the people who unquestionably believe these lies.

    I hope that Mrs. Hoffman will keep it up. She’s doing a great job and we need more like her who act based on facts and logical thinking.

  5. We do not need to be teaching our children sex education at all, especially from those who are sexual deviants and homosexuals. Sex education is to be taught at home not at schools. Keep the slaughter factory of Planned Parenthood out of our schools as well.


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