SUSD Denounces Critics of Club Sexualizing Children, Silent on ‘Deadname’ Policy

SUSD Denounces Critics of Club Sexualizing Children, Silent on ‘Deadname’ Policy

By Corinne Murdock |

On Thursday, Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent Dr. Scott Menzel issued a statement calling criticism of a club that encourages child sexualization under the guise of offering support — Gender & Sexualities Alliance (GSA) clubs — as “targeted attacks,” and suggested that those concerned were bullies to the students involved in the club.

“Recently, there have been targeted attacks on student-created school clubs related to gender and sexual identity, sometimes called GSA clubs. The students who choose to participate in them have a legal right not to be bullied, intimidated, or otherwise targeted by adult members of our community, as well as by any of their peers,” wrote Menzel.

Menzel also asserted that SUSD doesn’t regulate the viewpoints of student-initiated clubs. The superintendent said even GSA viewpoints are protected, comparing it to clubs focused on athletics, politics, and faith. As AZ Free News reported, the GSA at Cocopah Middle School was initiated by English teacher Laylee Langner. 

“Students’ rights to have differences of opinions, beliefs and interests are protected in the U.S. Constitution and in Arizona statute. Consistent with those rights, SUSD does not regulate the viewpoints of student-initiated clubs. We have athletic clubs, political clubs, and faith-based clubs in our schools, in addition to academic and philanthropic clubs. These clubs welcome anyone; participation in any club is voluntary.

Menzel has a doctorate and masters in philosophy. According to his LinkedIn, he received his bachelor’s degree in religion.

SUSD parent Jill Dunican denounced Menzel’s response. Dunican told AZ Free News that it demonstrated that the superintendent lacked character and was effectively gaslighting the SUSD community on the severity of GSA’s presence and impact.

“Dr. Menzel’s attempt to frame parents as bullies for speaking out about the hateful curriculum that he has allowed into Scottsdale schools is despicable. Menzel’s use of vulnerable children as a shield to distract from his support for the CRT-aligned GLSEN program that encourages race-baiting, cop-hating, and the sexualization of children is beyond the pale,” stated Dunican. “It’s disappointing that Dr. Menzel has decided to gaslight the community on this issue. It only speaks to his lack of character and further demonstrates he is not a good fit for our community.”

Earlier this week, AZ Free News reported on claims by GSA of the Year winners at Cocopah Middle School that they’d successfully strong-armed SUSD into changing ID policy: instead of bearing their legal names on their IDs, which the budding LGBTQ activists referred to as their “deadnames,” students were permitted to display their chosen name on their IDs. Neither SUSD spokespersons or any of the board members responded to multiple inquiries about the “deadname” policy.  

SUSD’s latest controversy comes in the midst of continued national exposure over the connection of their former governing board president, Jann-Michael Greenburg, to a secret dossier on parents and political enemies. Greenburg’s father created the Google Drive dossier, and Greenburg himself had editing access to it. 

At the beginning of this month, Scottsdale Police Department (SPD) determined that the case fell outside their jurisdiction because the dossier consisted of open source and/or public documents. SPD passed their investigative materials on to the FBI, Maricopa County Attorney’s Office, and Arizona Attorney General Mark Brnovich’s office for further review.

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

Teenager, Parents Arrested for Trespassing After Violating School’s Quarantine

Teenager, Parents Arrested for Trespassing After Violating School’s Quarantine

By Corinne Murdock |

Last Friday, a teenage student and her parents were arrested for trespassing as they advocated for her education. The family was attempting to negotiate their daughter’s forced quarantine with the school principal. According to the parents, Damien and Jennifer Majuta, their daughter was healthy and not proven to be infected. The semester had just begun the previous week.

Sahuarita Unified School District (SUSD) policy requires that individuals potentially exposed to COVID-19 must quarantine for 10 days or until they receive a negative test. Even with a negative test, students must quarantine at least 7 days. Walden Grove High School (WGHS) thereby prohibited the Majutas’ daughter from attending school. Contact tracing indicated that she’d potentially been exposed to an infected individual.

AZ Free News inquired with SUSD about their policies for mitigating learning loss, as well as providing for students who rely on in-person resources such as school meals. SUSD didn’t respond by press time.

Five other adults accompanied the Majutas to contest the apparently-healthy student’s quarantine. When the group of seven wouldn’t leave, Sahuarita Police Department (SPD) responded to the scene. SPD attempted to mediate the situation. Ultimately, they arrested the Majutas for trespassing at WGHS’s insistence. SPD published an account of the incident on Facebook.

Videos captured of the Majutas show them insisting to the officers that they’d broken no laws by bringing their daughter to school.

Jennifer Majuta insisted that trespassing doesn’t apply because her daughter is legally enrolled in the school, and that no laws exist concerning quarantining measures imposed by public schools. Jennifer Majuta pleaded with the officers to understand that their daughter would never get to go to school because of constant quarantines.

“There is no law. They have no justification to remove her from the school. She is legally enrolled in the school. If you want to remove my husband and I – we are her legal guardians, she is an underage minor – you can either arrest her with us, [or] you can leave her here, and we respect you, you can do whatever you need to do, but we will be filming it and we will go peacefully,” said Jennifer Majuta. “You guys are backing somebody – an entity – that is not even based in law.”

An SPD officer responded that the law empowers schools to send home students for any reason. He pleaded with the Majutas to not make them arrest their family. The officer asked if there was anything he could say or do to convince them to leave the campus. Daniel Majuta said that they could allow his daughter the right to receive her education. The officer said he had no control over that.

“The law is – they are asking you to leave, they are asking your daughter to leave,” said the officer.

Damien Majuta emphasized that the arrests needed to be done. He insisted that no other recourse existed. According to the Majutas, they’d attempted to speak with the district and school board on multiple occasions about COVID policy, to no avail.

“People throughout history have [had] to stand up to get things to change,” said Damien Majuta. “The optics are in our favor. The school district is going to get in a lot of trouble for this.”

SPD released the Majutas by citation after photographing and fingerprinting them.

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