TUCSON – In light of revelations that Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal authored racist and offensive blogs, Congressman Raúl Grijalva (D-AZ) reiterated his outstanding concerns about Huppenthal’s tenure as the state’s top education official.
Four months prior to Huppenthal’s acknowledgment of blog posts calling people who receive public assistance “lazy pigs”, comparing the work of the founder of Planned Parenthood to that of the Nazis, and advocating for the eradication of Spanish-language media, he raised suspicion of violating student privacy laws under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA). At that time, private student/parent information had been made available to a third party, allowing them to place robocalls promoting private schools.
Congressman Grijalva, who sent a letter formally requesting U.S. Secretary of Education Arne Duncan investigate Huppenthal over the allegations, released the following statement:
“There is a clear pattern of alarming behavior and terrible judgment characterizing Mr. Huppenthal’s tenure as Superintendent,” said Rep. Grijalva. “His actions are unbecoming of any elected official, but particularly egregious for the official charged with educating our kids.”
The Department of Education is currently reviewing the allegations Grijalva raised in February, and a groundswell of local voices has called for Huppenthal’s ouster.
“Children must not be exposed to the hateful and misguided sentiments expressed in Mr. Huppenthal’s blog posts,” Grijalva continued. “And we cannot allow the potential violation of student privacy by our top education official to be ignored. I look forward to the outcome of the Department of Education’s investigation, and stand with those calling for his resignation.”
Congressman Grijalva’s letter to Sec. Duncan can be read here.