A to Z

Hoffman to Bowers: Stop spreading conspiracies from hate groups

By: - September 19, 2019 4:25 pm

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.

Our stories may be republished online or in print under Creative Commons license CC BY-NC-ND 4.0. We ask that you edit only for style or to shorten, provide proper attribution and link to our web site. Please see our republishing guidelines for use of photos and graphics.

Jim Small
Jim Small

Jim Small is a native Arizonan and has covered state government, policy and politics since 2004, with a focus on investigative and in-depth policy reporting, first as a reporter for the Arizona Capitol Times, then as editor of the paper and its prestigious sister publications. He has also served as the editor and executive director of the Arizona Center for Investigative Reporting.