August 6, 2016

An Open Letter to the Teachers and Staff of Great Hearts Academies

Great Hearts Arizona
3102 N 56th St #300
Phoenix, AZ 85018

Dear Teachers, Staff, and Administrators of Great Hearts Academies,

My daughter has been attending your school for 2 years. I have been impressed since day one by the level of commitment that you have shown to your students, that you have shown to your school, and that you have shown to your community. I have watched my child grow and have watched her mind develop. I have loved every minute of it.

I chose to send my child to Great Hearts because of the diverse learning environment and the commitment to a classical liberal arts education. Every teacher I have met with is clearly dedicated to their profession and to the students. I trust you with my child.

As you may know, the Board of Directors for Great Hearts Arizona passed a new student policy in June directed at transgender students. The policy singles out a population of your students and robs them of their Federally protected civil rights. The policy fails to honor their voice and dignity. The policy asks them to be a person they are not. The policy is in direct opposition to everything Great Hearts academies promotes as its strength: critical thinking, diversity, and respect for everyone.

I would like to ask for your help at the grassroots level in changing this policy.

While I have no doubt that the Board of Directors excels at leading Great Hearts from a business perspective, and has undoubtedly done well with creating a charter school system that is profitable, I suggest that the group of business executives and political leaders do not have the interests of the students as their first priority. You, however, do.

Please help me by being open minded. Please think critically as you consider your position on the treatment of transgender students in your schools. Please review the materials on this web site and decide for yourselves whether or not the Board’s policy is consistent with your vision of your school and the lessons that you want to teach.

My hope is for a unified voice from Great Hearts educators that will bring awareness and positive change to this policy.

Thank you for the work that you do. Thank you for your help.

A Concerned Great Hearts Parent