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Arizona High School Halts Transgender Spirit Week After Outcry From Parents

Parents at Estrella Foothills High School successfully halted a spirit week that would’ve pushed transgenderism on students.


A public records request revealed that parents at Estrella Foothills High School in Goodyear, Ariz., successfully halted a Transgender Awareness Week that aimed to push left-wing gender theory on the school community.

The week originally included a variety of different activities, including wearing name tags with students’ pronouns, wearing rainbow colors to celebrate the LGBT movement, and another day on which students were instructed to wear blue, white, and pink, the colors of the transgender flag. The spirit week was being hosted by Estrella Foothill High School’s Coexist club.

The club also made an Instagram post encouraging students to donate to the National Center for Transgender Equality, a far-left organization that advocates for boys to be able to use girls’ restrooms in schools, a policy that threatens the safety of young women.

Courtney Ratkus is the sponsor of the Coexist club and a teacher who proposed the spirit day to principal Kimberly Heinz in an email, also explaining the themes behind each day.

She also advertised the week to students in an email. While advertising Monday’s theme of “Make Yourself Known” where students are supposed to put their pronouns on a name tag, Ratkus noted that “Nametags will be provided to you by your first hour teacher.” In an email to staff, Ratkus explains the spirit week and encourages them to take part.

Ratkus teaches English Language Arts at the high school, and has been vocal about her social and political beliefs online. In an archived Instagram story entitled “Be Kind,” Ratkus reposted a tweet on Independence Day saying “I would say happy 4th of July, but all countries matter.”

She also wrote on Instagram that “you’re killing people by refusing to wear a mask. Just f****** wear the mask” and shared a post that accused Donald Trump supporters of  supporting “racism, homophobia, sexual assault, xenophobia, ignorance, misogyny,” and “fascism.”

Documents gathered from the public records request reveal that parents and students were able to successfully stop the spirit week after the first day.  One parent condemned the push for a “radical sexual lifestyle” in an email to district administrators before warning that if the push continues, he will “be forced to withdraw my children and the funding that your school relies on.”

Another parent told administrators that “my children go to school to learn and be educated about core subjects, not peoples sexuality,” going on to request that the spirit week be canceled.

Amid these and a flurry of other critical emails, principal Kimberly Heinz canceled the spirit week after the first day, telling parents in a mass email that “our administrative team met this afternoon and have made the decision that we will not move forward with the remaining awareness days this week.”She continued to say “we will be working … to help put into effect clearer policies, procedures, and timelines for a more effective vetting process for student club requests such as this week.”

This victory for students and parents is another example of communities taking on left-wing pushes in K-12 government-run schools just as they have in Loudoun County and other locations across the country.

Neither Ratkus nor Heinz responded to a request for comment.