Parents speak out over Board of Education dispute

Arizona parents are upset over the antics involving Superintendent of Public Instruction Diane Douglas.

Monday during the board meeting Board President Greg Miller and Douglas got involved in a disagreement that ended with Douglas alleging she was assaulted and filing a report with DPS, who patrols the Capitol area.

What they're saying is really with the crisis public education is in, this is how the board President says he may have brushed the superintendents arm as he reached to move the microphone, because she was out of order.

He said it is the most ridiculous thing he's ever seen or heard.

In talking to child education advocacy groups, teacher groups, and parents, words like ludicrous, unprofessional, and immature were heard.

The dispute between Supt. Douglas and Board of Education President Miller at a public meeting Monday, elicited anger from some parents.

"They're squabbling over microphones when they should be caring about funding the schools," said a parent.

He says he recently moved his son from a failing Phoenix public school to a private school to improve his education.

Educators also are frustrated says Paul Lowes of the Classroom Teachers Association in the Phoenix Union District.

He says at a time when teachers do not feel respected by the political system, and feuds like this one are not productive for anyone.

"I think the adults in this state could use a lesson from high school kids in terms of maturity, bottom line the state needs to get its act together," said Paul Lowes.

Rebekah Gau with a children education advocacy group says filing an assault report against board President Greg Miller is wasting taxpayer dollars on two fronts.

"This is not professional behavior, this is not the behavior we expect from our elected education champion in our state," said Rebekah Gau.

Gau says she worries about the next three years under Superintendent Douglas.

"The state board is volunteers who spend a lot of time on behalf of our kids, she's a paid politician, it is incumbent on her to assume the best in people work together, not jump to conclusions, and not make assumptions," said Gau.

FOX 10 spoke to Greg Miller; he said DPS had not contacted him about the incident. He said he was moving the microphone and may have brushed Diane Douglas' arm. He said this is the most ridiculous thing he's ever seen or heard.

Diane Douglas has not responded to requests for comment.
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