AZ Superintendent Wages War On Critical Race Theory With A Hotline


Yakira Wade

Tom Horne has enacted a hotline, with just one call you can report a teacher.

Superintendent Tom Horne has enacted a hotline to crack down on inappropriate lessons in all schools in Arizona.

Critical race theory has been a touchy subject all over the US for a very long time, for over 40 years, because it deconstructs the makings of the US and how systematic racism affects the modern person of color.

To be specific, it relies on two main ideas, one being that race was created to oppress those characterized by it and that institutions are racist when they uphold the bias between white and non-white people like the Jim Crow laws, Redlining real estate, and discriminatory practices in mortgage lending.

To Tom Horne, this hotline will keep from hindering the work of students and keep the conservative life intact, lest critical race theory politicizes the classroom.

Of course, Arizona isn’t the first to try and crack down, places like Virginia had started their own hotline for critical race theory and it was unsurprisingly shut down in November.

Parents were using the hotline to sing praises to teachers and report violations unrelated to the intended purpose. So this begs the question, what is the hotline actually for?

The way the hotline functions is that parents and students can report a teacher for any type of inappropriate behavior although the main aim is race and sexuality.

Anything going against the Superintendent’s values is fair game so there is no set reason.

As reported in the AZ Central news article “The use of social and emotional learning — a teaching framework to help young people regulate their emotions, establish and maintain relationships, and show empathy for others — is also an indicator of critical race theory’s use.”

Anyone who has dealt with children can understand that emotional regulation is critical to a child’s development and has little to do with race

Teachers and staff that are reported will receive an investigation and then prompt to stop the inappropriate behavior.

They have the option to comply or face removal from the school which really isn’t a choice but instead a warning because most know that job loss can be detrimental to a person’s livelihood and ability to provide for themselves and any dependants they may have.

Tom Horne is unconcerned with this, even going as far as to say, ”Teachers must teach academics, not use their power over a captive audience, to promote their personal ideology. That is unprofessional conduct,”
It’s definitely a bold statement to those who may question his decision.
Horne believes that race is irrelevant and critical race theory pushes liberal ideals while condemning whiteness.

To him, the Empower Hotline will keep what isn’t important out of the classroom and focus on what’s really important, a person’s merit and not the skin they wear. Furthermore Horne suggests, “They divide students into ‘oppressors’ and ‘oppressed’ based on what race they were born into, which is irrational.”

Critical race theory doesn’t make white people into villains, but instead sheds light on the flawed system many uphold. Mr. Horne clearly shows a lack of critical thinking and desires to censor schools to benefit his political campaign.

This policy is affecting the Agua Fria school district and others around the state and will continue to do so. When policies started with banning books, getting rid of AP African American History, eliminating Social Emotional Learning, and now a hotline.
Teachers have silenced themselves because they are worried about losing their job and students are learning less and less as Arizona presses backward instead of forward. This isn’t the end but instead, a gateway to a more censored society with the only way to stop it is to speak out, to protest, to fight.