Arizona’s School Counselors to Be Trained in Social-Emotional Learning at National Conference

April 1, 2022

By Corinne Murdock |

Arizona’s school counselors will soon be joining other school counselors nationwide to be trained in social-emotional learning (SEL) and other social justice topics for their 25th annual National School Social Work Conference. The conference takes place next week in Chicago, Illinois.

As AZ Free News has reported previously, SEL incorporates a wide swath of controversial theories and ideologies, such as comprehensive sex education (CSE), critical race theory (CRT), and culturally responsive education (CRE).

Nearly all of the topics at hand focus on handling and integrating various social justice issues in K-12 schools.

Keynote session topics are titled as follows:  “Leveraging Transformative Social and Emotional Learning… From Imagining to Actualizing an Educational System Rooted in Love and Justice,” focusing on SEL implementation; “Building Authentic Alliances Through Critical Conversations,” focusing on intersectionality, a driving concept behind CRT; and “What is Safety from the Lens of Teens,” focusing on systematic and institutional racism. 

Pre-conference forums will include discussions on racial and social equity. Breakout sessions will include discussions on integrating restorative justice mimicking progressive criminal justice reforms, SEL, equity, CRE, mental health therapies, inclusion, sexuality, gender identity, mass-shootings, interventions, racism, adultism, ableism, and social justice activism. 

The training that Arizona’s school counselors will receive on SEL falls in line with standards set forth by the Arizona Department of Education (ADE). Last December, the department encouraged educators to expand on their SEL implementation. 

Governor Doug Ducey appears to support SEL as well. In August, $1.6 million of the $65 million for learning programs went to fund SEL. Additionally, over $6.3 million was allocated for SEL programs as part of the AZCares: Flexibility and Funding For Schools and Families in 2020.

Corinne Murdock is a reporter for AZ Free News. Follow her latest on Twitter, or email tips to

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