Websites – The Digital Sanctuary Tue, 22 Nov 2022 16:12:32 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Websites – The Digital Sanctuary 32 32 Superintendent loses election after website plugs LGBT chat room Tue, 22 Nov 2022 15:23:00 +0000
Kathy Hoffman
Democratic Arizona State Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman speaks to supporters during an election watch party at the Renaissance Phoenix Downtown Hotel on November 8, 2022 in Phoenix, Arizona. |

Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction Kathy Hoffman was beaten by her Republican opponent months after the state Department of Education drew media attention for promoting a chat room LGBT for teens.

Unofficial results last updated on Monday afternoon show Republican Tom Horne leading incumbent Democrat Kathy Hoffman by less than 9,000 votes, which equates to about 0.4% of all votes cast. Hoffman conceded to Horne on Thursday, claiming in a Twitter Statement that “we failed”.

“I want to thank my supporters, my volunteers and my staff who supported me during this election. And I especially want to thank my family for all of their love and support,” she added. “Serving as Superintendent of Public Instruction for Arizona has been one of the greatest honors of my life. I am proud of the incredible work we have done. I remain more inspired than ever by the incredible students, educators and schools in our state. Our future is bright because of you.”

Hoffman’s defeat came during an election cycle when other statewide races were won by Democrats, including victories for Democratic Sen. Mark Kelly over his Republican challenger Blake Masters and the Democrat Katie Hobbs over Republican Kari Lake in the gubernatorial election.

The Hoffman-led Department of Education came under fire in May after the Libs of Tik Tok Twitter account reported that the Arizona Department of Education website contained a link to a student chat room. LGBT as part of a listing of “Resources for LGBTQ+ Students, Educators, and Families.”

The chat room, Q Chat Space, identifies itself as a “Community for LGBTQ+ Teens” that allows them to “find and give support, have fun, [and] connect around common interests and get good information.”

The website offers users the ability to join live chats and support groups hosted by “experienced staff who work in LGBTQ+ centers across the United States.” The website acknowledges that its “hosts are NOT mental health professionals”.

The Q Chat Space has an option at the bottom of the screen for “Click/tap here for a quick escape” which automatically redirects to the Google homepage. The presence of a “quick escape” allows teenagers to disconnect quickly in case their parents, who may or may not approve of the LGBT lifestyle, walk into the room.

During a debate in September, Horne criticized the Q Chat Space as a dangerous outlet for predators. Phoenix-based CBS 5 reports that Hoffman responded by saying the website is a resource recommended by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC includes Q Chat Space as a recommended resource for LGBT youth, providing “a digital LGBTQ+ hub where teens join professionally facilitated online support groups.”

Also in September, a lawsuit was filed to remove Q Chat Space from the Arizona Department of Education website.

Shiry Sapir, the chairwoman of the Kari Lake Campaign Education Advocates Coalition, spoke to CBS 5 about her concerns that children do not have parental supervision while using the site. .

“They have an escape button where the child can exit the chat immediately when the parent enters the room,” Sapir said. “The Arizona Bill of Rights specifically states that parents must give consent and have full authority.”

She also said the site requires kids to enter their email addresses, phone numbers and zip codes when signing up.

“We don’t know who gets this information, if it’s sold on the dark web,” Sapir said. “If predators are able to get this information, then specifically pursue children.”

According to the website, the information is not passed on to anyone without the participant’s permission and is used to verify that people who register are not predators.

Hoffman’s defeat comes as the promotion of LGBT affirmation by public schools has become a significant issue in American politics.

School districts in Massachusetts and Florida are among those facing lawsuits after school officials began identifying their children by a name that matches their gender identity as opposed to their gender. biological at school while continuing to refer to children by their first names in front of their parents.

Concerns about the usurpation of parental rights, particularly regarding children’s sexual orientation and gender identity, prompted Florida to pass a bill to protect parental rights in education.

Florida law prohibits school officials from discussing issues related to sexual orientation and gender identity with students in kindergarten through third grade. It requires schools to inform parents of all mental and emotional health issues of their children.

Hoffman’s loss occurred the same night that 1776 Project PAC-approved candidates performed well in several races across the United States. is “committed to abolishing critical race theory and the ‘1619 Project’ from the public school curriculum.”

While the alleged teaching of elements related to critical race theory and LGBT ideology by some public school districts has led to lawsuits and the creation of advocacy groups like the 1776 PAC Project, Individual parents have taken to school board meetings across the country to express their outrage at the presence of sexually explicit material in school libraries.

The Biden administration faced a massive setback last year after U.S. Attorney General Merrick Garland told federal law enforcement officials to coordinate with state and local authorities to do in the face of “worrying increases in harassment, intimidation and threats of violence against school administrators, board members and teachers.”

The memorandum in question was written in response to a request from the National School Boards Association for “federal assistance in ending threats and acts of violence against public school children, members of public school boards and other officials and educators in public school districts”.

Emails obtained by Parents Defending Education, another advocacy organization that emerged in response to parents’ concerns, revealed that the US Department of Education had cooperated to the letter with the NSBA.

Ryan Foley is a reporter for The Christian Post. He can be contacted at:

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Hihome travel site aims to provide tourists with the authentic Saudi cultural experience Sat, 19 Nov 2022 19:43:04 +0000

MAKKAH: What better way for tourists to experience the real authentic culture of the country they are visiting than by spending time with the locals, ideally in their homes, and participating in their daily traditional activities.

Hihome, an online platform created in 2019, aims to make this possible for visitors to Saudi Arabia, bridging the gap between tourists and locals. In addition to providing accommodation, hosts can also provide traditional activities for guests to experience and learn about local culture and heritage first hand.

These can include brewing traditional Saudi coffee, making one of the host’s special family recipes, crafting lessons, picking fruit from a farm or just spending time together listening to the stories. of a host on life in the Kingdom.

Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges tourists and locals, experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting locals’ homes in different regions of the Kingdom. (Supplied)

Noura Al-Saadoun, founder and managing director of Hihome, told Arab News that the philosophy of the service is based on the principle of investing in the Saudi people and their homes, as they provide an excellent entry point for visitors to learn more about the culture of the country and the wider region, and engage with its people.

She said the idea came to her after visiting several foreign countries that have similar platforms and seeing that the experiences they offer make a good impression on travelers. So when the Kingdom announced in 2019 that it was offering tourist visas for the first time, Al-Saadoun realized it was the perfect opportunity to launch a service that could introduce visitors to the beauty and diversity of the Kingdom by offering them an authentic Saudi experience. in the home of a local family.

She said there are currently more than 500 registered guests and hosts on the platform, and more than 80 registered experiences that have generated “wonderful feedback” from guests.

Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges tourists and locals, experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting the homes of locals in different regions of the Kingdom. (Provided)

“What confirms this are the messages they send to us, which contain their photos and their opinions on the experience, and we are proud to publish these comments on our website to show how happy we are to provide them. welcome to one of our Hihome experiences,” says Al-Saadoun.

In his review, Stefaniic, a German tourist, said: “I thought I had been around the world, and I’ve been everywhere, but I haven’t been to Saudi Arabia. This is the first family home I have visited in this country, and I tell you what… I love it. People are so friendly, so kind. They are so generous. You must come here.

Another Hihome user, Mia from China, described her experience as “memorable days that cannot be forgotten”. She added that it was very interesting to visit a house in Riyadh, see all its decorations, designs and open spaces, and talk to the nice people there.

Established in 2019, Hihome, an electronic platform, bridges tourists and locals, experiencing authentic Saudi culture by visiting the homes of locals in different regions of the Kingdom. (Provided)

“The most beautiful thing is that communications between guests and hosts do not end with the experience…on the contrary, friendships are formed between them, through which an exchange of knowledge about different cultures takes place between the two parts,” she added.

The registration process is simple, Al-Saadoun said; hosts simply create a listing on the Hihome website that includes a description and photos of the experience and space, as well as the price.

The site team reviews all the listings and suggests any changes that might be needed, then it goes live. The site also offers hosting providers support and advice to help them develop and market their experiences.

“We were honored to welcome people from several countries, such as Germany, Japan, America, Saudi Arabia, Mexico, India, Egypt, South Africa, Australia, Canada, Ukraine, Scotland, Singapore and Brazil, among others,” said Al-dit Saadoun.

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