Quezada to Huppenthal: ‘Stop bullying school kids’
STATE CAPITOL, PHOENIX – Rep. Martín Quezada, D-Phoenix (District 29), today criticized Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal for using his position to promote an extremist agenda. Quezada, who is also the president of the Pendergast Elementary School District Governing Board, called on the superintendent to stop grandstanding.
“Superintendent Huppenthal announced today that he is asking the federal government to pay for the education of unaccompanied children who cross the border. The timing of his announcement is suspect in light of his political campaign. In reality, he is using these children as an opportunity to grandstand, and he should stop pandering to extremists at the expense of students.
“In 2012 Superintendent Huppenthal ended the Tucson Unified School District ethnic studies program, which fostered cultural awareness and promoted understanding, respect and success among Latino students. The program led to higher test results and to increased graduation rates among Latino students. In June, he was criticized for writing anonymous blog posts attacking families that utilize public assistance and calling for the elimination of Spanish-language media. His announcement today has no real impact because schools are not allowed to monitor the immigration status of students. All of this demonstrates that he is prioritizing an extremist agenda over the needs of our students.
“Our constitution clearly states that we have a responsibility to educate all kids. Arizona schools and teachers must be empowered to fulfill that responsibility, regardless of the immigration status of students and their family members. Our teachers, parents and communities want all our students to have the same opportunities to succeed. It is time for Superintendent Huppenthal to recognize that it is vital for the future of our state that all students are prepared for the increasingly global economy. The bottom line is he has to stop bullying these school kids in an attempt to score political points.”