An Open Letter to Great Hearts CEO, Ward Huseth

Ward Huseth
Chief Executive Officer
Great Hearts Arizona
3102 North 56th Street, Suite 300
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Dear Mr. Huseth,

My child attends Great Hearts. I have thus far been impressed with the academic rigor of your program, your commitment to a liberal arts education, and your advocacy for a diverse learning environment. My child has received lessons about Picasso, ancient Greece, the digestive system, insects, classic literature, Mozart, Brahms, Beethoven, Socrates, Plato, and the best mathematics techniques available today through your lessons based in the Singapore Math method. My child has excelled at your school and I continue to be amazed at the level of learning that she demonstrates to me every single day.

I am surprised to learn that a school that teaches critical thinking, and values the Socratic method, would fail to put those skills into practice when considering new school policy.

I am disappointed to discover that the Great Hearts Board of Directors has decided to adopt a school policy on transgender students that violates Federal law and directly creates an unsafe and unhealthy environment for the children that attend your schools.

I am frustrated to learn that you have failed to put up more of a protest. I am frustrated that this clear violation of a child’s civil rights is allowed to perpetuate uncontested under your watch.

I recognize that you are in an uncomfortable position. You must protect the civil liberties of all students, including all transgender and gender non-conforming students, who currently attend one of the many Great Hearts academies. This is difficult as the challenges that transgender students face are often compounded by vocal opposition from parents concerned with the “safety” and “liberties” of their own cisgender kids.

There are alternatives to the school policy passed by the Great Hearts Arizona Board of Directors. The alternative policies address the concerns of the parents of transgender children, protect the dignity and rights of transgender students, align perfectly with Federal law, all the while addressing the concerns other parents may have about the safety and liberty of their cisgender children.

There is a way to create an alternative school policy that is more inclusive and more representative of the ideals and vision of Great Hearts Academies.

Examples of alternative policies can be found <here>, <here>, and <here>. Others can be found <here>.

I would like to ask for your support in presenting these proposals to the Board of Directors of Great Hearts Arizona. I humbly offer my assistance in discussing a policy that supports the rights of all Great Hearts students and aligns with the mission of all Great Hearts Academies.

An alternative transgender policy can be constructed which would lay a firm foundation of respect and honor for every student attending your school.

You have an opportunity to affect positive change. I ask for your courage. I ask that you seize this opportunity.

A Concerned Great Hearts Parent