While Politicians Debate Over Wokeness at SUSD, Students Show that There is Work Left to Do

The saga of Scottsdale Unified School District Superintendent Scott Menzel, his past “woke” interview and the controversy it has generated has gotten a lot of coverage both in the mainstream media and on this blog. But a recent development at a Scottsdale school demonstrates that “woke-ism” clearly is not the norm in Scottsdale schools.

Unfortunately, not even the Holocaust is fully respected in our schools, as several unnamed students drew swastikas over the pictures of Holocaust victims in a Scottsdale school recently. Little other information is known at this point except that it is a result of several 7th graders, but not much else needs to be said.

While some people will attempt to explain it away as a “false flag” or just a stupid frank, the disappointment from the teacher who had to deal with it jumps off the page. The request of the parents to reinforce the importance of empathy in this case is noble, but shouldn’t need to be reinforced. It serves as an effective example of the challenges that teachers go through and how good parenting isn’t ringfenced away from learning completely.

It had been a while since our state had embarrassed itself on a large scale in such a way. More people moved to Arizona than any other state last year, presumably an indicator that our national brand is strong, but any event like this is bound to be shared around, especially in Jewish circles. Especially as the state that was so notoriously resistant to implementing the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday for no good reason (other than racism).

So what’s the takeaway? We won’t attempt to guess on how those students got to this point, but regardless…we have work to do. As an area, as a society, as parents; if we can’t all agree that the death of around seven million souls because of their ethnicity isn’t an evil that deserves our recognition, then what can we agree on? Yes, they are children, but children have to learn these things from somewhere.

While Menzel’s statements in 2019 may be to the left of what would generally be seen as appropriate in Scottsdale, there is a lot to be said about inclusion and treating people with decency in our schools. This seems like just the sort of event to avoid that he talked about in that much maligned video. Perhaps the various politicians will take a step back and realize that perhaps there are lessons to be learned from Menzel and his insights on inclusion. Hopefully they will realize that Scottsdale has a ways still to go in this regard.