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Dunican: Gretchen Jacobs fights for safer schools


A whopping 39% of all Arizona Board of Education disciplinary cases in 2023 involved teachers’ sexual interest in children.

And now, Scottsdale Unified School Board candidate Gretchen Jacobs is fighting back.

Under current law, schools are required to run a background check of all employees. Perversely though, if a background check is not run and an employee abuses a child, the school can claim they were unaware of past abuses and are given immunity from prosecution. The incentive is to not follow the background check law designed to protect children.

Not one to sit idle in the face of a crisis, Jacobs is now working to protect students in districts across Arizona. Her bill, SB 1435, would enable parents to take recourse to hold school districts accountable if their child is sexually abused and administrators did not conduct a background check.

While Jacobs fights for positive change, her opponent, propped up by the Scottsdale Education Association (SEA) teachers’ union, has taken to social media to disparage parents who want to have a voice in their child’s education and upbringing. He wants parents to take a back seat and let the education “experts” make all decisions, background check or not. It’s clear that Scottsdale families are not the priority for the SEA teachers’ union, nor the candidates they endorse.

Jacobs is the type of candidate we need on the Scottsdale Unified school board. Her willingness to act and her dedication to ensuring the safety of Scottsdale’s most vulnerable children will drive the positive changes that the school district needs.

Jacobs is running for Scottsdale school board with teammates Jeanne Beasley and Drew Hassler. The trio’s goals include responsible spending of your tax dollars on quality classroom instruction, including proven curriculum and quality teachers, and ensuring the safety of every student.

Please vote for Jacobs, Beasley and Hassler in November for Scottsdale Unified School Board.

Reader reactions, pro or con, are welcomed at AzOpinions@iniusa.org.