The Arizona Department of Education Has a Chatroom For LGBTQ Students to Access Without Parental Permission

(AP Photo/Richard Drew, File)

When I was in high school, we had to attend a health class. Everyone did. We spent one day on sex-ed, and the poor teacher, who looked to be about six months shy of retirement and just wanted to get out with what little remained of his sanity and peace of mind, stumbled through the material as quickly as he could. That, of course, is no longer the case.

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Flash-forward to the present. Is there no end to the sexualization of minors in public schools? Apparently, the longer you look, the worse it gets. Arizona resident Peggy McClain has filed a lawsuit against Kathy Hoffman, who is the superintendent of the Arizona Department of Education. According to AZ Free News, the department’s website advertises a link that provides access to a chat room where minors can freely discuss issues of gender and sex without their parents being any the wiser.

The room allegedly has adults present in the chat, but there was no effort to notify parents that their children may be involved in chats. It even comes complete with a “quick escape” button, should parents stumble upon their kids chatting. The button takes the user to the Google home page.

The chat room, called Q Chat Space, is geared toward LGBTQ+ minors aged 13 and up. The paper notes that, in addition to offering chats such as “Sex and Relationships Q&A,” “FOR TRANS/NON-BINARY YOUTH: Activism and Allyship,” and “FOR TRANS/NONBINARY YOUTH: Sex Ed,” the adult monitors have no professional certification. McClain asserts that the site violates a provision in Arizona’s Parent’s Bill of Rights which essentially means children cannot be coerced or convinced to withhold information from their parents.

To sign up, students must provide an email address, birth date, race, zip code, sexual orientation, gender identity, and romantic interests. No adult with a shred of decency needs to know these things. Moreover, McClain points out that, should the site be hacked, information about the minors could be made available to sexual predators.

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There is also another site open to children starting at age 10.

Q Chat Space is the result of the work of Planned Parenthood, PFLAG, and CenterLink, an LGBTQ group.

I’m not going into the lecture how about how catastrophic it can be to sexualize children starting at age 13, let alone age 10. If you can’t see that by now, there is no hope for you. But if you are a parent in Arizona, or anywhere else for that matter, take a moment to reflect on the Arizona Department of Education’s link to a chat site that is mining children’s personal information, encouraging them to talk about sexual topics as young as age 10, and helping them hide it from their parents. You should be able to trust your school district, and if you are not sure that you can, now is the time to find out.

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