A Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) psychology teacher instructed high schoolers on controversial, challenged, and, in some cases, debunked claims concerning sexual orientation. According to records obtained by AZ Free News, SUSD didn’t give the teacher permission for what she taught.
Much of what SUSD Advanced Placement (AP) psychology teacher Mackenzie Onofry taught on the subject to the Desert Mountain High School students came from Alfred Kinsey: the late Indiana University sexologist credited as the “Father of the Sexual Revolution” whose research included adults sexually violating infants and children to prove the inherent sexual nature of mankind, even in minors. Kinsey is revered in many LGBTQ+ circles, and IU established an institute in his honor.
The following includes what Onofry taught the students, according to slideshows obtained by AZ Free News: only 4 percent of men and 2 percent of women are exclusively heterosexual, sexuality is a continuum, homosexuality spans human history and is a natural part of the animal world, sexual orientation isn’t a choice and is immutable, conversion therapy doesn’t work, women have more erotic plasticity (sexual interests) than men, that homosexuality is a gene location on the X chromosome, fetal testosterone exposure causes attraction to women, and male homosexuality increases by one-third with each son born.
Dr. Miriam Grossman, the psychiatrist interviewed at length in The Daily Wire documentary “What Is a Woman,” interviewed with AZ Free News about this incident. Grossman affirmed the fact that Kinsey’s research was fraudulent and even criminal. She said Onofry’s teachings were “shameful,” especially considering that the SUSD teacher didn’t tell the full story of Kinsey.
“There’s no question here that this teacher is coming into the classroom with her own agenda of influencing the students and imposing her value system and ideas on these students. I think parents should be outraged that this is happening right under their noses,” said Grossman.
Grossman explained further that Kinsey attempted to normalize deviant sexual behaviors through his “Kinsey Scale,” which declared that human sexuality exists on a continuum but was based on research interviews that included sex crime felons and prostitutes.
“Kinsey was a social reformer. He wanted to rid society of Judeo-Christian values. He wanted an any-age, anything-goes type of sexual behaviors between people. We know that he lived that kind of lifestyle and he wanted to promote that kind of lifestyle in society,” explained Grossman. “He came up with his scale through research that was done in prisons with felons that had people who had committed sexual crimes and research with prostitutes. He took their responses to his questions about sexual behavior and he applied that to middle America. He implied that the deviant behaviors of the group that he was studying, and in which he fit by the way, applied to everybody.”
Grossman suggested that parents read the works of Dr. Judith Reisman, a researcher who dedicated her life to challenging Kinsey’s work and legacy, systematically exposing fraud in Kinsey’s work. Reisman reiterated that Onofry had a duty to teach the whole truth about Kinsey, if she were to mention him at all.
“If Kinsey should be mentioned at all in a psychology class to high schoolers, and I highly question whether that should be mentioned at all, it should only be mentioned how fraudulent his research was,” said Grossman. “What parents and schools need to be asking here is, what is motivating this teacher? Psychology is a huge field with many different areas and important things that teenagers would benefit from knowing. Clearly she’s picking and choosing these areas. I’m wondering how this is more important than other areas.”
Onofry also taught AP psychology at the Flagstaff BASIS, a prestigious charter school chain. While a graduate student, Northern Arizona University (NAU) named Onofry their Outstanding Graduate Teaching Assistant of the Year.
Onofry’s sister, Samantha Onofry, is legal counsel to Senator Mitt Romney (R-UT).
Onofry’s curriculum was only available to the public through an open records request. Access to curriculum online through SUSD requires a parental or student login.
The issue of transparent school curriculums was nearly solved this year.
The state legislature came close to requiring all K-12 schools to make their curriculum accessible to the public online — until one Republican voted with Democrats to kill the legislation. Following the initial report of the SUSD sexuality curriculum from the Arizona Daily Independent, State Senator Nancy Barto (R-Phoenix) lamented the one Republican’s vote against transparency.
Though Barto didn’t mention the representative by name, she was referring to her colleague Joel John (R-Buckeye). John has sided with Democrats on other critical bills advanced by his fellow Republicans, such as HB2656.
“The radical push continues. AZ parents won’t know if CRT and sexual grooming is even happening in their schools [without] transparency aka SB1211 which failed this year because one Republican voted with every single Dem,” tweeted Barto.
Barto’s bill, SB1211, would’ve required schools to offer curriculum online in a searchable manner, organized by subject, grade, and teacher. Any education materials concerning nondiscrimination, diversity, equity, inclusion, race, ethnicity, sex, gender, bias, action-oriented civics, service learning, or social and emotional competencies were to be published online within 72 hours of their implementation. All other materials were required to be published within the week of their implementation. All materials would remain accessible on the school’s website for at least two years.
In explanation of his “no” vote in April, John argued that the bill was too burdensome for teachers. He said that, as a former teacher, the curriculum posting would burden an already “low-paying, thankless job.”
“I think this bill frankly goes too far and puts too many extra burdens [on teachers], as some of our colleagues have already pointed out,” stated John.
In his argument, John echoed a talking point among Democrats: that SB1211 was an “unfunded mandate” by the state.
Barto issued her condemnation in response to the testimony of Rhode Island parent Nicole Solas, who was sued by the nation’s largest teachers union for filing public records requests.
In the committee hearings preceding SB1211’s failure in April, Democrats stated that parents dissatisfied with their school’s transparency should just transfer. They made the argument as part of an indirect insult to the state’s school choice system.
Teachers on the popular podcast, “Teachers Off Duty,” argued that it was “against best practice” to require them to publish their curriculum in advance of the school year. One of the teachers, Bri Richardson, said that she couldn’t adhere to such a requirement because she didn’t know what she’d be teaching. The other three podcaster-teachers concurred with her.
“Is that a joke? Bro, I don’t know what I’m teaching,” said Richardson.
SB1211 earned the approval of Governor Doug Ducey’s office, who celebrated the bill’s progression out of the Senate in March.
Upon the bill’s demise, the House Democratic caucus portrayed SB1211 as “anti-teacher” and an indictment of educators as the enemy.
Parents pulled their kindergarteners from Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) classrooms after district leadership refused to put an end to one staff member’s discussions of gender ideology. The alleged perpetrator was Mia Perry, a before and after school care assistant who told students that she was nonbinary, an LGBTQ+ term indicating that the individual believes they’re genderless.
It appears that Perry shared more details of gender ideology: SUSD parents reported their kindergarteners came home with concern that they wouldn’t always remain the gender they were, and that they could choose their gender.
One SUSD parent and Arizona Senate candidate, Jan Dubauskas, explained to “The Conservative Circus” that Perry informed the kindergarteners of her nonbinary identity unprompted. At the time of the interview, Dubauskas said she hadn’t received word from SUSD about her complaint filed a week prior.
“This person is alone with small children and unsupervised, and SUSD has known about this for at least eight days,” observed Dubauskas.
Several days after filing the complaint, Dubauskas and several other parents running for office issued an open letter to SUSD.
In response to the parents’ complaints, SUSD Superintendent Scott Menzel defended Perry. During the SUSD Governing Board meeting on Tuesday, Menzel accused parents of Civil Rights violations. Menzel took issue with the fact that Dubauskas issued a press release alongside other political candidates discussing details of the complaint against Perry, claiming that the parents were using the issue for political gain. Menzel said that the parents’ decision to issue an open letter before SUSD concluded its investigation supported his assessment of the situation.
“To target an individual publicly for their personal identity — in this case the individual against whom this complaint was filed does not identify as either male or female — is overt discrimination and inconsistent with state and federal law as well as school district policy,” said Menzel.
Menzel reminded SUSD parents and community members that the district had a commitment to its core values of empathy and inclusion.
“This district will not take adverse employment action against any individual as a result of their identity, no matter how offensive that may be to some,” said Menzel. “Hate and targeted attacks toward individuals on our staff are inconsistent and incompatible with [our] core values. It is my hope that our Scottsdale community will respond with kindness, love, and compassion toward all, as we look to finish this school year on a positive note.”
On Tuesday, SUSD issued a response to the parents’ complaint. SUSD Early Learning and Community Education Director Christine Bonow asserted that Perry hadn’t acted inappropriately when she informed kindergarteners of her gender identity. Additionally, Bonow rebutted the claims that the children didn’t ask Perry about her gender.
“I have found the staff person to be credible and consistent in relating the details of the comments that were made. The staff member did not initiate any conversation regarding gender identity, nor did they engage in any instruction that would be considered sex education. When asked a direct question by a child, the staff member answered briefly, in an age-appropriate manner and honestly,” wrote Bonow. “Simply being aware of a staff member’s gender identity is not inappropriate. Staff members are protected from discrimination based upon gender identity by board policy AC, Scottsdale city ordinance, and state and federal laws.”
Bonow then asserted that action against Perry would be discriminatory.
Once upon a time, teachers were measured by their ability to teach reading, writing, and arithmetic. And schools did everything they could to ensure that the teachers they hired were trained properly in these critical subjects.
But now, too many school districts have refocused their priorities, opting to indoctrinate our kids with diversity, equity, and inclusion. We’ve certainly seen it with the cleverly disguised Marxism inherent to Critical Race Theory. But this isn’t the only avenue the left is using to come after students.
Pushing gender and sexual identity have also become popular. One Arizona school district has even gone so far as to encourage children to replace their “deadname”—the birth name that individuals reject upon transitioning genders—with their preferred name on their school ID. And now, a school in that same district, Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD), has required middle school teachers to attend grooming training…
After making waves for accusing a black DJ of blackface, Scottsdale Unified School District’s (SUSD) social justice professionals marched onward with their work. In the week following accusations from Scottsdale Parent Council (SPC) Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee co-chair Jill Lassen and SUSD Equity and Inclusion Committee member Stuart Rhoden against a black DJ for alleged blackface and the school of racism for hiring him, SPC DEI Committee promoted a “Drag Queen Story Hour.”
Although SPC describes itself as an autonomous support organization for SUSD, it collects dues from SUSD parent and teacher groups annually: parent-teacher organizations (PTO), parent-teacher associations (PTA), and association of parents and teachers (APT).
As first reported by the Arizona Daily Independent, Lassen, a school librarian and self-described “community activist,” and Rhoden, an Arizona State University (ASU) professor, accused the Hopi Elementary PTA of racism at a charity earlier this month for hiring a DJ the pair believed to be wearing blackface. The DJ in question was Koko Kim Hunter, a black man. Hunter performed at a disco-themed charity event that raised over $300,000 for the elementary school.
Days later, the SPC Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion Committee promoted a young adult drag story hour. The event occurs next Tuesday at the One N Ten Chandler Satellite Center in Chandler at 6:30 pm.
Rhoden complained about the perceived blackface to both the elementary school PTA and principal. Both informed Rhoden that Hunter was black. However, that revelation didn’t stop Rhoden’s accusations. Rhoden doubled down. He insisted in a Facebook post that he never thought Hunter was a white man committing blackface, and that Hunter, though black, may have committed blackface still. Rhoden attached several photos of Hunter and encouraged readers to judge whether Hunter darkened his skin to look more black. He then accused the parents of “cultural disconnect.”
“Let me be clear, a Black man, apparently in Black face [sic] is an entirely different discussion than a White person. However I did not state that the person was White. It was assumed that was my intent, and perhaps it was, but nonetheless, looking on his Facebook page (photos below), it seems at the very least he is in darker make-up [sic] if not ‘Black face’ [sic] or I am completely mistaken and it’s the lighting of the patio,” wrote Rhoden. “I apologize to [Hunter] for the implication, but the sentiment still stands, Black face [sic] by anyone, in this day and age is problematic. I also apologize to folks who reposted and made other statements based on my assumption. The other images, some of which are still on his FB page, are problematic and speak to the cultural disconnect of the parents at this school. Rather than acknowledge that, they chose to double down on being angry at me rather than trying to understand how one could have made this error. And yes, it was my error.”
Lassen emailed the Hopi Elementary PTA leader, Megan Livengood, with accusations of racism. After Livengood responded with the facts of Hunter’s race and a rebuke of Lassen’s conduct, Lassen replied with an apology.
The accusations reflected Lassen and Rhoden’s perspectives on SUSD parents.
Lassen complained in a promotional video for the drag queen story hour that parents have the amount of influence they do over the district’s activities. In another promotional video, Lassen said that her focus as a parent and educator concerned safe spaces and gender stereotypes.
“I think it is much harder at the school level, as far as the parents having a lot of say and clout with the school district, unfortunately,” said Lassen. “What it means to me as a parent is to provide a safe and nurturing environment for my child to develop their identity as a human, and to always be aware and counterbalance the gender stereotypes that we continually run into as a society. As a librarian, it means providing a safe space for LGBTQ individuals to gather, to learn, and to overall be a part of their community.”
In a Facebook post, Lassen called parents upset about remote learning, “super rich, white ‘Karen’s’,” who she instructed to have “blow [her]” for having concerns about SUSD children’s mental and physical health. She added the explicit hashtag, “#F***MichelleUgentiRita” as an insult to the sitting state senator from Scottsdale.
“You don’t care about them until it’s convenient for you and you pretend to align yourselves with them because suddenly you have the same interests, but when all is said and done and your kids are back in school, you won’t think another thought about them or offer any kind of help or support to the districts or teachers,” wrote Lassen.
Rhoden offered similar sentiments about parents in an August 2020 Facebook post.
“I need a training on training myself to not get exasperated at parents who only care about themselves, who are selfish and who’s [sic] intentions are not socially just,” wrote Rhoden. “Sorry to put this so bluntly, but if another Karen/Becky or Ken ask [sic] one more question on a back to school Zoom call that is only germane to them, I’ma [sic] blow. We are all in this ish [sic] together. Be a team player!”
Currently, there’s a petition calling for the resignation of Lassen and Rhoden. The petition documents the various offenses committed under the oversight of Lassen and Rhoden: promotion of a Drag Queen Story Hour, praise of Planned Parenthood founder and infamous eugenicist Margaret Sanger, and the unfounded blackface accusation made against Hunter.
“One of the organizations that parents have noticed as being problematic is the subcommittee of the Scottsdale Parent Council that is Equity, Diversity and Inclusion. The name implies that kindness and compassion abound, but grievously, the opposite is true. The members of EDI consistently offend and confuse parents and community members with their controversial and divisive rhetoric.
Nearly 300 Afghan refugees are being relocated to a former hotel in Scottsdale after being housed at various military installations, resulting in the mobilization of a Scottsdale Unified School District (SUSD) team “to plan for providing educational services and support” to any school-aged refugees, according to Superintendent Scott Menzel.
SUSD “has an obligation to provide educational services to homeless students who reside within the district,” Menzel noted in a district newsletter. That obligation is based on compliance with the federal McKinney-Vento Homeless Assistance Act.
“While we did not anticipate this influx of new students, we are committed to marshalling the resources and supports necessary to ensure that these children are welcomed into our schools as they transition to their news lives in this country,” he wrote.
The newsletter comments also referenced questions raised by some in the community about whether the district should be serving the refuge children. Instead of addressing public health, staffing, and security concerns, Menzel simply cited federal law as leaving the district no option.
Although Menzel’s comments were included in the recent newsletter, there has been nothing posted to SUSD’s Facebook page. In addition, district officials have not disclosed what conversations they have had with state and federal officials about compensation for the sudden influx of non-English speaking students.
More information is expected to be made public on Jan. 25 when the SUSD governing board meets.
Last August, Gov. Doug Ducey stated that Afghan refugees will be welcomed in Arizona. He noted that the Arizona Department of Economic Security, through its Arizona Office of Refugee Resettlement, would help secure housing, employment, and education for the refugees.
The refugees are being housed at the former Homewood Suites on North Scottsdale Road. The property is currently in bankruptcy but was approved by federal officials in early 2021 as a contracted temporary migrant transition facility.
There was no advance notice to Scottsdale city officials about the migrant arrangement last year. That contract expired at the year of 2021, but now the non-profit International Rescue Committee (IRC) is utilizing the massive hotel property for the next few months as temporary housing while efforts are undertaken to place each refuge or refugee family unit in homes with sponsors in the greater Phoenix area.
Some refugees began arriving at the Homewood Suites before Jan. 14. According to Scottsdale Police Chief Jeff Walther, “next to no one was aware” that the property was being repurposed.
Walther issued an advisory to Mayor David Ortega and council members before Menzel’s comments, noting there was no heads up to local authorities about the IRC’s plans to house unsupervised Afghan refugees within the city.
The IRC has now told city officials that the site is expected to use only through April. As far as security, IRC plans to hire security guards but made it clear that the refugees are free to come and go as they wish.
Security was not in place prior to the arrival of the first group of refugees, Walther noted. The refugees are expected to be gone from the hotel property by April, according to Walther.
“This is a federal government activity over which the city of Scottsdale has no oversight,” a city spokesperson recently told AZ Free News.
While Menzel was reticent about the situation, one of his school principal’s issued a detailed email to Cherokee Elementary staff. He reported that more than 80 school-aged refugees are expected to be enrolled across three, possibly four, SUSD schools.
Those students, according to Principal Walter Chantler, could speak one of four languages. And many of the youth, particularly the girls, have never been in school.