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Chris Hamlet

Mesa Unified School District provides voter education and does not endorse candidates.

1. Are you a precinct committeeman? If yes, for how long? 

Yes, about a year now. Will be an elected PC this November. 

2. Tell us a bit about yourself. What made you run for school board? 

I’m an Arizona native, born in Phoenix, raised in Globe Arizona. I served 5+ years out of state in the United States Army as an Airborne Medic and Orthopedic Specialist. Once back in Arizona after service in 1999, I moved around the West Valley for a few years. In 2005, I permanently moved to Mesa after finishing school in Phoenix to obtain my Associate of Applied Science in Electronics and Computer Technology, and my Bachelor of Science in Technical Management from DeVry University. I have been in the district for 17 years total. I am a single parent for over 8 years now with 1 adult child who attended Mesa High School through 10th grade, and my youngest child is currently a freshman at Mesa High School. I served on the School Improvement Advisory Council at Taylor Junior High and have a thorough understanding of how Mesa Public Schools operates from a grassroots level. I am also the parent representing Mesa High School in the Mesa Parent Council this year. I realized, way too late, that I had failed my daughter and had fallen asleep at the wheel while I allowed Mesa Public Schools to “educate” her. It was at that point, approximately 5 years ago, that I vowed not to fail my son the same way. As a result, since then, I have become thoroughly entrenched in the district policies and curriculum and understand exactly what is needed to help our children succeed. 

3. Do you support sexual education of children in the classroom? At what age do you believe this is appropriate, and do you believe that a parent should have the opportunity to opt out? 

I do not support anything other than basic sex education from junior high through high school only, nothing before junior high is acceptable. Sex education that teaches abstinence and the basics such as puberty, and topics as to why/how their body changes, appropriate topics like that are agreeable. Nothing that has to do with sexualizing our children, feeding into gender dysphoria or sexual orientation issues, or any type of comprehensive sex education. It should always be age appropriate and OPT-IN only, NEVER an OPT-OUT, only OPT-IN. 

4. Do you support the idea of parents being the sole stakeholders in their children’s lives? 

The parents are the only authority and are the main stakeholders of course, but the school clearly has to share some stake in our children’s success. 

5. What is your position on critical race theory, social-emotional learning, LGBTQ inclusion, and equity issues in the classroom? What do you know of Bloom365 and Corwin Press and what are your opinions? 

The polarized national political rhetoric should not be infiltrating our schools. Schools are a place for ideological diversity, critical thinking, and important discussion; they are not a place for teachers and administrators to force their political ideologies upon our children. We need to teach our children the differences between equality and equity as well as the history of these ideas. Giving our children an equal opportunity to succeed (equality) is an aspirational dream we should strive towards; forcing them into an equal outcome (equity) is a dystopian nightmare. Critical Theory and its ideological progeny; Critical Race Theory and Critical Gender Theory, should not be used as a lens with which we teach our children. It is important to study works of political philosophy, it is revolting to put said philosophy and theory into play. In essence, we should teach our children about figures like Marx and Horkheimer, but we shouldn’t teach our children like Marx and Horkheimer. Children dealing with gender dysphoria should not seek affirmation or guidance from their educators; these are family issues that have no place in our schools. No public-school parent should ever have to be concerned with a biological male’s genitalia in front of their daughter’s face as they get ready to shower together in the school locker room. The purpose of our educational institutions are to prepare the next generation for success, not to contribute to polarizing partisan political disputes. What I know about Corwin Press and Bloom365 is that they line up with the same types of politically charged woke curriculum currently in MPS. I’ve dealt with organizations similar to these, like Fast Bridge-Illuminate here locally, but never these specifically. 

6. Based on the limitations and powers of a school board member, what’s your platform? 

My platform is simple; get the politics out of Mesa Public Schools and put our children first. Our children are such blessings, they are our most precious and valuable assets. We, as a society, as the adults around them, are doing them an enormous injustice and disservice by allowing this politically charged curriculum and demoralizing policies to continue unchecked. 

7. What do you believe to be the biggest issue impacting K-12 students in Arizona? 

Hyper-sexualization of our children is by far the biggest issue. It is the most morally corrupt of the current issues that adversely affect our children, it must be dealt with accordingly. Recently, a transgender support plan that by-passed the board was introduced by MPS legal and superintendency that would allow children to shower in the locker room of the gender they identify with. During public comment at a Governing Board meeting on August 23rd 2022, I posed the question to the board and asked them to show me 1 parent that would be okay with their daughter having male genitalia in her face while her and said biological boy get ready to shower together in the locker room, just one parent of a daughter who would accept that. The dress codes are diminished from previous years in the name of inclusivity and the power to supplement them on a per-campus basis has been stripped from the School Improvement Advisory Councils (SIAC) and school administrators. After speaking with actual Mesa Public Schools (MPS) teachers on the campaign trail, it is my understanding that some MPS personnel are told not to enforce the dress code at all. Some do not enforce the current dress code out of fear of the woke-mob, they just don’t want to “deal with it”. I would work to get that dress code reverted back to the 2015 revision that was acceptable and enforced well across MPS. Or, at the very least, find a way to get the current MPS dress code revised to give supplemental authority back to respective school administrators and SIACs so they may decide what is appropriate for their own children. Teachers need to be empowered and encouraged to enforce a set dress code as opposed to told not to enforce one at all, thereby, unwillingly contributing to the demoralization of our children. The most appalling part of the continued push toward the hyper-sexualization of our children is the fact that our children can access what is called “Q-Chat” on the Arizona Department of Education’s (AZDOE) website that also gives them a “quick escape” button in order for children to exit immediately and go back to a Google search bar if their parent should happen to walk in a room. Q-Chat is a place where our minor children can interact with LGTBQ+ adults online. The issues of gender dysphoria or sexual orientation are private family issues that have no place in our public schools. 

8. How do you think the state should support public education? Do you believe in expanding school vouchers? 

The state should support public education by dismantling the AZDOE, starting with the top administrators and working their way down the line. Expanding school vouchers is important as it will create healthy competition and force the MPS Governing Board into a position to make changes and better decisions that would attract parents to enroll their children. 

9. Do you have a plan to fund renovations of schools in your area that are run down? 

As of now, a variety of schools within MPS have several new buildings, new furniture, new HVAC, new lighting, and new and extremely unnecessary upgrades throughout the district thanks mostly to the pandemic money, known in the district as Emergency and Secondary School Emergency Relief (ESSER) funding. It seems to me that Mesa High School having 2 new buildings and enough money left to put a big metal purple MESA sign in the front of the school makes this a moot question. 

10. Do you have a plan to address the shortage of teachers? 

An audit would be the 1st necessary step to take in order to come up with a comprehensive plan, those audit results will be critical in determining a path forward. However, some action that can be taken in the meantime would be to eradicate the woke curriculum and polarized partisan politics from the schools while creating a positive and structured work environment so the teachers to focus on teaching. Until the audit results show the rest of the pieces of information needed, these simple actions alone can help create a work environment that is appealing to quality personnel. 

11. Do you support allowing retired military or police officers, who pass background checks, to work or volunteer in our schools to prevent mass shootings? 

Absolutely. I am an airborne veteran, I am well trained and would consider the children at any school to be in safe hands knowing another brother or sister in arms with equivalent training and expertise is patrolling the school. 

12. Please feel free to add any additional information you would like voters to know about your candidacy. 

At some point, we need to have a serious discussion about completely dissolving the Arizona Department of Education and what it would look like to take steps toward that goal. The AZDOE has done too much damage to our children by indoctrinating, hyper-sexualizing, and demoralizing them with dumbed-down curriculum, immoral policies, and incompetence at the highest levels within the organization.

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