Due to the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA) not withdrawing from the National School Boards Association (NSBA) over its controversial letter asking the Biden Administration to investigate parent and community opposition as domestic terrorists, Dysart Unified School District (DUSD) Governing Board voted last week to leave the association.
The board was split on the decision, 3-2. President Dawn Densmore issued the motion, and Clerk Christine Pritchard seconded. Board member Chrystal Chaffin joined Densmore and Pritchard in voting to leave ASBA. The remaining two board members, Traci Sawyer-Sinkbeil and Jo Grant, dissented.
Superintendent Quinn Kellis said that about three out of every 30 sample policies are based on opinion rather than statute. Densmore emphasized that it wasn’t the quantity that concerned her — it was the quality of those few opinion-based policies.
“Except for the part where they redline the policy about not teaching that you’re biased because you’re a certain race, gender, sex, you know, ASBA recommends we get rid of that,” said Densmore. “It’s just things like that that have me concerned about ASBA.”
Pritchard said that the people once a part of ASBA that made it amazing are no longer there. She described how political ASBA had become since she was elected over 15 years ago.
“I just feel like ASBA has really changed over the years. When I was first elected to the board, it was 2006, I remember going to the ASBA conference in 2006 and it just had a completely different feel,” said Pritchard. “It seems like for an agency or organization that’s supposed to be nonpartisan they are so far one way. And, whether one way’s the right one or one way’s not the right way, the point is that it’s supposed to be nonpartisan. It seems like they’re so politicized and there’s such an agenda and then to not take a stand against NSBA’s action was really disappointing.“I cringe a lot of times when I get their emails because they’re politicized, and I don’t want to be associated with that. And right now we are. It just doesn’t feel good to me.”
Chaffin said that ASBA’s new board member training just complained about “bad bills” passed by the legislature. She said that ASBA pushes certain agendas constantly and doesn’t factor the individual needs of districts.
“I don’t think they reflect our board and our district’s values,” concluded Chaffin.
“And they didn’t stand up for our parents — that’s the biggest piece. And to pay to be part of an organization that stands behind another organization that would make such a blatantly disrespectful comment, I don’t want to be associated with that,” added Pritchard.
Sawyer-Sinkbiel asked the board if anyone had invited ASBA to offer an explanation for not leaving the NSBA. Densmore responded by citing ASBA Executive Director Dr. Sheila Harrison-Williams’ refusal to address the controversy head-on.
Sawyer-Sinkbiel expressed concern that the board’s actions would hurt rather than help their district by cutting out a . She insisted that this was based on a national narrative rather than a local problem.
“We’re worried about Dysart. We shouldn’t be worried about a national narrative,” responded Sawyer-Sinkbiel. “I feel that we are trying to take all the things that we have done and throwing them out with that few percentage [sic] of the bad things. So, I don’t think that we should separate — I do believe we should have ASBA to come out and answer what questions that we do have. Put their feet to the fire. Ask them exactly what is going on.”
Pritchard rebutted that no clarification was necessary based on ASBA’s actions. She assured that DUSD has their own legal services that address their policies, which Kellis confirmed.
“It’s not a misunderstanding where I need them to clarify with me. It’s just a change in their mindset or a change in their organization as a whole. It’s the same type of political agenda and they shouldn’t be that way,” said Pritchard.
Sawyer-Sinkbiel challenged Chaffin on her statement that the board had an attorney. Kellis clarified that they do have prepaid legal through the trust, assigned based on the case.
Pritchard said that statute analysis and policy drafting could be procured. Chaffin asked why the district couldn’t use the money that would’ve gone to ASBA and pay
Sawyer-Sinkbiel challenged Chaffin again, asking who they would hire and if Chaffin was suggesting they not carry out their elected duties of drafting policy. Chaffin responded that she was suggesting that they could hire someone if they needed review of drafted policies or if they needed alerts on legislative changes.
“That’s a lot of ‘ifs’ and I’m not comfortable with supporting a lot of ‘ifs,” responded Sawyer-Sinkbiel.
Pritchard challenged Sawyer-Sinkbiel to weigh her pragmatic concerns with ethical concerns.
“What about our integrity? What does that mean?” said Pritchard. “To stay with them when this is who they are just because ‘Well, they can look at our policies,’ and I understand what you’re saying Mrs. Sawyer-Sinkbiel, I’m not saying be willy-nilly, I’m saying they’re not the only organization that can do that job.”
Sawyer-Sinkbiel doubled down after neither Pritchard or Chaffin could name an alternative to ASBA. She said they shouldn’t leave ASBA and instead settle for telling the association what upset DUSD. Sawyer-Sinkbiel insisted that DUSD didn’t know why ASBA decided not to leave NSBA.
Grant offered an explanation of her “no” vote similar to Sawyer-Sinkbiel: insisting that there may be financial troubles ahead if they didn’t plan prior to taking action.
“We just pulled an agenda item questioning a budget item for a department for $40,000 and we asked them to please go back and rework that. Now we’re talking another budget item that is $28,998,” said Grant. “And if we cancel with ASBA, we have no idea how much we’re going to spent on policy support or BoardDocs and it could be more than $28,998. It just seems to me that we should do our homework and come back with okay, BoardDocs is going to cost this amount of money and somebody to do policy support [will cost that much].”
Chaffin countered that integrity was the greater concern at the moment, not logistics. She said that the board has six months to figure out who would fill ASBA’s shoes.
“How long do you want to compromise […] our integrity to be associated with an organization that views parents the way NSBA does, that is very politicized,” said Chaffin. “We talk about, we don’t want our teachers bringing politics into the classroom. Well, this particular organization is flooding our district with tons of their politicized opinions and their views and agendas. It’s a matter of principle to me.”
The back-and-forth between Chaffin and Grant became more intense after that. Grant repeated that she’d like to see the costs before making a decision on ASBA.
“So there’s a price to integrity?” asked Chaffin.
Grant retorted that their decisions as a board have nothing to do with integrity. She also asked who would lobby for DUSD, if not ASBA.
“It has nothing to do with integrity. We talk about taxpayer money — what if the bill comes back at $50,000? I’m just asking the question,” said Grant. “When you walk in this door, we are now school board members. We may have different political opinions outside this room. […] At the end of the day, we have to be supporting public schools.”
Grant also challenged the notion that ASBA is political. She rejected the notion that the association’s emails were political, asking for specific examples. Grant dismissed Densmore’s example of race-based caucuses, insisting that both state and federal governments have race-based caucuses.
Sawyer-Sinkbeil repeated that she felt a personal attack on DUSD would be a more relevant reason to leave ASBA. She disagreed that NSBA’s letter included DUSD parents. Pritchard insinuated that Sawyer-Sinkbeil wasn’t being objective on the matter because of her having served leadership roles within ASBA.
DUSD membership to ASBA lasts through June 2022, making up .25 percent of the district’s operational budget according to the district. ASBA offers policy support and legal insight on legislative changes relative to K-12 education.
The board also approved a resolution related to the decision to leave ASBA. Densmore, Pritchard, and Chaffin voted for it, while Sawyer-Sinkbeil and Grant voted against it. The resolution asserted that parents had the right to parent their children without obstruction or interference from any political entity or government, and that ASBA’s actions weren’t reflective of that statement.
The resolution cited Education Secretary Miguel Cardona’s remarks during a testimony before the Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions at the end of September. Cardona said that parents shouldn’t be the sole authority in their children’s education.
“I believe parents are important stakeholders, but I also believe educators have a role in determining educational programming,” said Cardona.
The resolution also called upon the Arizona legislature to pass a bill strengthening protections for parental rights.
The board’s decision came less than a month after voting to end its relationship with the NSBA.
Following an advisory from U.S. Surgeon General Dr. Vivek Murthy on youth mental health, the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) encouraged educators to expand social-emotional learning (SEL) implementation. SEL encompasses a wide swath of subjects, including the controversial Comprehensive Sex Education (CSE) and Critical Race Theory (CRT), to educate children on handling emotionally-charged issues while building social and self-awareness. SEL often centers around identity, emotions, attitudes, and beliefs.
ADE suggested their free online SEL Course as a means of fulfilling Murthy’s suggestion for educators to create a positive, safe, and affirming school environment. Their course focuses on equity, cultural responsiveness, and trauma sensitive practices. ADE also suggested the PAX Good Behavior Game, only granting free access to teachers and schools.
Citing Murthy, ADE insinuated that the mental health decline in youth would become the next crisis after the pandemic if left unchecked. ADE also asserted that schools are ideal partners for parents in addressing youth social and emotional wellness.
“Educators and school professionals are uniquely positioned to partner with families to best support student social, emotional, and academic wellbeing in our classrooms and schools,” stated the department. “[ADE] encourages school communities to read the latest Surgeon General Advisory to understand the position of young people better and implement the recommendations offered in the advisory.”
Although Murthy’s advisory pressed the importance of reversing the decline in youth mental health, he did also admit that the government lacked knowledge on the long-term impact of the pandemic on children’s mental wellness. In fact, Murthy further admitted that some youths actually “thrived” during the pandemic, reporting increased sleep and family quality time, less academic stress and bullying, and improved schedule flexibility and coping skills.
“Many young people are resilient, able to bounce back from difficult experiences such as stress, adversity, and trauma,” wrote Murthy. “Although the pandemic’s long-term impact on children and young people is not fully understood, there is some cause for optimism. According to more than 50 years of research, increase in distress symptoms are common during disasters, but most people cope well and do not go on to develop mental health disorders. Several measures of distress that increased early in the pandemic appear to have returned to pre-pandemic levels by mid-2020. Some other measures of wellbeing, such as rates of life satisfaction and loneliness, remained largely unchanged throughout the first year of the pandemic. And while data on youth suicide rates are limited, early evidence does not show significant increases.”
SEL hasn’t been the only controversial educational approach supported by ADE. Earlier this year, ADE advertised $5,000 teacher grants through the Pulitzer Center for those who would implement the 1619 Project. Simultaneously, the latest ADE statewide assessment results revealed that students are failing in English and math.
Although controversial among local parents and community members, SEL doesn’t appear to cause issues at the state level.
Governor Doug Ducey supported SEL expansion recently. In August, Ducey announced that a portion of the $65 million for learning programs would go to SEL. The controversial method received $1.6 million out of $20.1 million American Rescue Plan dollars.
Arizona Secretary of State Katie Hobb nominated a Phoenix elementary school teacher for a national youth leadership award for her classroom activism rooted in and related to SEL.
The Phoenix chapter of a national activist group attempting to implement more LGBTQ and social justice-oriented curriculum in K-12 schools, Gay Lesbian and Straight Education Network (GLSEN), urged teachers to introduce controversial materials “under the radar” by incorporating them to personal classroom libraries. Even if teachers were caught, they were advised to just continue with their efforts after apologizing.
The advice came from a featured guest speaker and fellow activist who identified himself only as “Rex,” a high school teacher for over 16 years and co-sponsor of a high school GSA which he and his students call by an alternative name: “Student Alliance For Equality,” or “S.A.F.E.” club.
“It’s not hard and you [teachers] can do it. I guess I want to say you can do it under the radar without drawing attention to yourself. I would encourage you to try. If you get slapped down, you get slapped down, and you apologize and you move forward,” said the teacher. “It can be done. You need to be ready for some pushback. But I submit to you that the kids are ready, they’re willing and they’re open. It’s the adults that are struggling and stiff-arming and passing all the laws.”
The teacher went on to give a presentation on incorporating “inclusive curriculum” into K-12 classrooms alongside GLSEN Phoenix board member Andi Young. In addition to her activism, Young is seeking a master’s degree in social work from Arizona State University (ASU).
The Protect Arizona Children Coalition (PACC) first discovered this admission from GLSEN Phoenix. PACC President Lisa Fink told AZ Free News that their mission is to stop the push for Comprehensive Sexuality Education (CSE) in K-12 schools.
GLSEN Phoenix’s advice to teachers came about a month after its co-founder and National Board Member, Dr. Madelaine Adelman, informed teachers and community members that their organization is attempting to become a statewide presence — “GLSEN Arizona.” Adelman alluded that GLSEN would venture into lobbying by establishing a presence in areas like the state capitol.
Adelman, an ASU associate professor of justice and social inquiry, expressed confidence in GLSEN Phoenix’s ability to grow into a statewide organization, citing their working relationship with the Arizona Department of Education (ADE) and the Arizona School Boards Association (ASBA).
“We already have a relationship with the Arizona Department of Education. We’re part of their task forces,” said . “We have a relationship with the Arizona School Boards Association and we work in coalition with them on different kinds of issues.”
ADE cites GLSEN heavily as a key reference for a variety of needs: student assistance, school or district policymaking, professional development, and parent training.
ASBA has featured GLSEN as an educator for its members — in 2019, GLSEN presented its research on the state of LGBTQ student experiences in K-12 schools during an ASBA series on equity. On Phoenix Children’s Hospital’s Gender Support page, GLSEN and ASBA are listed side by side as educational resources.
Chandler Unified School District (CUSD) teachers are pushing the adoption of a rebranded version of social-emotional learning (SEL) referred to as “Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors” (WMSGD). SEL itself is a guise for controversial educational approaches such as Comprehesive Sex Education (CSE) and Critical Race Theory (CRT).
Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors was first introduced as the “windows and mirrors” concept in 1988 by a white woman, Emily Styles. It was later picked up and popularized in a 1990 essay by a black woman, Dr. Rudine Sims Bishop, with the addition of “sliding glass doors”—children not only see into others’ perspectives (windows) and reflections of themselves (mirrors), they are able to step into others’ perspectives (sliding glass doors). The essay insisted that children can and must understand the world through multiculturalism, and that books should reflect that reality. Multiculturalism signifies a diversity of cultures, ethnicities, and races; it’s an offshoot of intersectionality, which reduces an individual to different aspects of their identity — such as race or sexuality — in order to create a hierarchy of discrimination, oppression, and privilege.
Bishop claimed that children could be affirmed, uplifted, or even offended by books. In reference to children’s interaction with majority-white literature, Bishop asserted that “nonwhite” children understand how they are “devalued” in modern society. She further suggested that a lack of diversity within children’s books contributed to racism, or a “dangerous ethnocentrism,” which she claimed was still pervasive.
“When children cannot find themselves reflected in the books they read, or when the images they see are distorted, negative, or laughable, they learn a powerful lesson about how they are devalued in the society of which they are a part,” claimed Bishop. “Children from dominant social groups have always found their mirrors in books, but they, too, have suffered from the lack of availability of books about others. They need books as windows onto reality, not just on imaginary worlds. They need books that will help them understand the multicultural nature of the world they live in, and their place as a member of just one group, as well as their connections to all other humans. In this country, where racism is still one of the major unresolved social problems, books may be one of the few places where children who are socially isolated and insulated from the larger world may meet people unlike themselves. If they only see reflections of themselves, they will grow up with an exaggerated sense of their own importance and value in the world—a dangerous ethnocentrism.”
Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors doesn’t just address race—since it’s steeped in the principles of cultural responsiveness and equity, it also offers a framework suitable for broaching topics of sexuality. One example of this is the children’s book on gender identity, “It Feels Good to Be Yourself” by Theresa Thorn, marketed for children 4-8 years old.
On all fronts, the Bishop teaching approach mirrors SEL.
In the push for adopting Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors, it appears that the teachers are being led by their most esteemed peers. During CUSD’s Governing Board meeting on Wednesday, the first to advocate for a Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors curriculum was Chandler High School (CHS) teacher Sara Wyffels. She claimed schools weren’t effectively humanizing or providing unspecified resources to their students. Wyffels has taught with CUSD for 15 years and earned Arizona Teacher of the Year in 2021.
“I would like some support to humanize public education: the teachers, students, and curriculum,” said Wyffels. “This is an amazing opportunity to validate students as humans existing in this world and to provide resources to meet the needs of our children.”
Wyffels added that she not only teaches Spanish to her students, she validates students as humans and provides other resources to fit their needs — though she didn’t specify what those “needs” were, or what she was providing. Wyffels also asked for assistance from parents and community members for herself and all other educators because their teachers were “in crisis.”
The Declaration of Independence already identifies and protects the dignity and worth of individuals. That validation of humanity is further secured by the Constitution and the Bill of Rights.
“We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,” reads the Declaration of Independence.
In a written reflection inspired by a Proverb from the Bible, former President Abraham Lincoln further clarified one of the main purposes of the founding documents.
“There is something back of these, entwining itself more closely about the human heart. That something is the principle of ‘Liberty to all’ — the principle that clears the path for all — gives hope to all — and, by consequence, enterprize [sic], and industry to all. The expression of that principle, in our Declaration of Independence, was most happy, and fortunate. Without this, as well as with it, we could have declared our independence of Great Britain; but without it, we could not, I think, have secured our free government, and consequent prosperity. No oppressed people will fight, and endure, as our fathers did, without the promise of something better, than a mere change of masters,” wrote Lincoln. “The assertion of that principle, at that time, was the word, ‘fitly spoken’ which has proved an ‘apple of gold’ to us. The Union, and the Constitution, are the picture of silver, subsequently framed around it. The picture was made, not to conceal, or destroy the apple; but to adorn, and preserve it. The picture was made for the apple — not the apple for the picture. So let us act, that neither picture, or apple shall ever be blurred, or bruised or broken. That we may so act, we must study, and understand the points of danger.”
Though she wasn’t as explicit about her support for implementing a Windows, Mirrors, and Sliding Glass Doors curriculum, CHS World History teacher and 2021 Chandler Woman of the Year Gloria Garza-Wells said that test scores were down because they weren’t meeting the needs of students and their families.
“By offering a curriculum centered on honesty, integrity, and courage we can provide the windows and doors to make sure that every child is seen,” asserted Garza-Wells.
CHS dual enrollment English teacher and Arizona State University (ASU) faculty associate Dr. Monica Baldonado-Ruiz praised Bishop’s idea that students should see their identities reflected in the curriculum and the ways they’re taught. As she began to cry, she apologized for “get[ting emotional.”
“For most of their school experience, many of our students have only seen windows. They have not been reflected in the curriculum. Their experiences have not been celebrated or highlighted as points of genius. I speak as one who never saw herself reflected in curriculum until she went to college,” said Baldonado-Ruiz.
Former Arizona Superintendent of Public Education Diane Douglas wrote at length in an Arizona Daily Independent opinion that the push for “safe sex” education for children wasn’t safe for the children at all. Rather, Douglas asserted that children lacked the maturity to process sexuality materials.
“There is NO kind of sexual activity—heterosexual, homosexual, bi-sexual, any SEXUAL—that is ‘safe’ for emotionally immature school-aged children—male or female—even those who have reached that miraculous, chronological ‘age of majority’—18 years old. Nor is it my business how consenting adults choose to privately express their sexual beliefs and inclinations unless it crosses the line into abusing children or stealing their innocence with public sexual exhibitions or desensitizing and sexualizing children; deluding them that they too should and can be safely, sexually active,” wrote Douglas.
In the wake of multiple federal court rulings striking down all provisions of President Joe Biden’s vaccine mandates, Maricopa County Community College District (MCCCD) has suspended their vaccine mandate for employees. A number of colleges and universities followed Biden’s executive order requiring federal contractors to get vaccinated.
MCCCD notified employees that it would hold onto the policy detailing their now-suspended mandate on their website, indicating that they would await further ruling on the subject. For the time being, their January 7 deadline is no longer in effect.
“Given the rapidly changing landscape, if an employee would like to voluntarily provide your vaccine information or continue with the accommodation process you may certainly do so,” wrote MCCCD. “MCCCD will leave the Federal Vaccine Mandate submission structure (including this website) in place and will continue to monitor the situation.”
All three of Arizona’s public universities — Arizona State University (ASU), Northern Arizona University (NAU), and University of Arizona (UArizona) — also have employee vaccination mandates in place. UArizona and NAU told AZ Free News that they were reviewing the court ruling and its potential impact, and indicated that ASU was as well.
“At this time, we continue to strongly encourage employees to get vaccinated and verify their vaccination status,” said UArizona spokeswoman Holly Jensen.
Pima Community College also has a vaccine mandate; spokeswoman Libby Howell told Arizona Republic that they were keeping their mandate in place despite the ruling, but noted that their governing board may decide to vote to suspend it next week.
The federal contractor vaccine mandate was suspended nationwide on Tuesday by U.S. District Judge R. Stan Baker, a Trump appointee to Georgia’s southern district court, in the State of Georgia, et al., v. Biden, et al.
Baker’s opinion concurred with those issued by judges in separate rulings on other mandates prompted by Biden: that the president’s exercise of power didn’t align with the Constitution or other legal precedents. Baker also cited the ruling of another federal judge in Kentucky, Gregory Van Tatenhove, a Bush appointee, who previously suspended the same order in several states: Kentucky, Ohio, and Tennessee.
“As another Court that has preliminarily enjoined the same measure at issue in this case has stated, ‘[t]his case is not about whether vaccines are effective. They are.’ […] Moreover, the Court acknowledges the tragic toll that the COVID-19 pandemic has wrought throughout the nation and the globe,” wrote Baker. “However, even in times of crisis this Court must preserve the rule of law and ensure that all branches of government act within the bounds of their constitutionally granted authorities. Indeed, the United States Supreme Court has recognized that, while the public indisputably ‘has a strong interest in combating the spread of [COVID-19],’ that interest does not permit the government to “act unlawfully even in pursuit of desirable ends.”
The reason that Baker applied his ruling nationally — as opposed to a limited application like Tatenhove’s Kentucky v. Biden ruling — was because the intervening plaintiff, Associated Builders and Contractors, Inc. (ABC), is a national company.
Kyle Rittenhouse told Louder With Crowder (LWC) on Wednesday that Arizona State University (ASU) wasn’t honest in their characterization of his enrollment status, and declared he will attend ASU in the spring despite student activists’ pushback late last month.
Rittenhouse was vindicated by a jury of all charges last month, proving he’d lawfully exercised self defense during the Kenosha riots. During Wednesday’s episode of political news and comedy show Louder with Crowder, Rittenhouse explained that he’s a student at ASU currently.
“Yeah, it’s online. I took a compassionate withdrawal from my classes. My professors offered it and then a week later they gave me a compassionate withdrawal which – thank you for that. But then they came out with a statement saying, ‘Oh no no, he’s not enrolled at ASU anymore.’ I’m enrolled, I’m just not in any classes, but I have a student portfolio,” said Rittenhouse.
AZ Free News inquired with ASU about the technicality of student portfolios and enrollment. ASU spokesman Jay Thorne told AZ Free News it couldn’t go into detail about Rittenhouse’s enrollment status due to FERPA law. Their official statement contradicted Rittenhouse’s claim, saying he wasn’t enrolled currently.
“Kyle Rittenhouse did not go through the ASU admissions process but was enrolled in two publicly available online courses for this semester. University records show that he is now no longer enrolled, a status precipitated by his own actions,” stated Thorne.
That wasn’t all that Rittenhouse had to say about his future education. Rittenhouse also told LWC that he wasn’t deterred by the socialist and social justice student protestors at ASU.
“There weren’t even a lot of protestors there. It was a very, very small amount. And then people are just like, ‘I thought you were getting an education?’ and I’m like, yes, that’s what I want to do,” explained Rittenhouse. “I want to go to law school. I’m going to ASU in the spring in person. I want to do my four year undergrad there before I take the LSAT and go do my three years of law.”
Some recognizable faces were among the protestors’ number. One of the featured speakers there was Mastaani Qureshi – one of the three women found guilty of ASU’s Code of Conduct for harassing two white male peers with apparently rival political beliefs out of a common space on campus. Mastaani apparently took issue with another white male that represented apparently rival political beliefs, Rittenhouse, for his potential attendance at ASU. She claimed he was a white supremacist, vigilante, and killer.
“We want to say that Kyle Rittenhouse is not just any random killer, he’s a white supremacist killer. He is a vigilante. He is the descendant of white Americans who killed black and brown people. White supremacists back in the day were also acquitted of all charges if we have read history,” asserted Mastaani. “Kyle Rittenhouse didn’t get a guilty verdict because he was f*****g white!”
The entire Kenosha ordeal has shaped Rittenhouse’s career goals. Rittenhouse originally expressed an intent to study nursing, a desire reflected by his reason for being in Kenosha that fateful night last August: to put out fires and administer first aid to anyone present. Then on Wednesday, Rittenhouse confirmed with Crowder that he intends to study law instead of nursing because of the prosecutorial misconduct he witnessed and experienced during his trial.
“I want to be a criminal defense attorney,” said Rittenhouse. “I’m big on, no matter who the person is, I believe everybody deserves fair and good legal representation.”
OJ Simpson jury consultant Jo-Ellan Dimitrius helped select the jury for Rittenhouse’s trial. Rittenhouse said that she was an amazing support for them.
“She’s a phenomenal jury consultant. She’s more than that for us, though. She was a rock for my mom – someone my mom could lean on and hold during this entire ordeal,” said Rittenhouse.