Huppenthal Apologizes For Online Comments, But Won't Resign

June 25, 2014

(Photo by Carrie Jung)
John Huppenthal publicly apologized Wednesday for comments he made under a pseudonym on a political blog.

Arizona's Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal publicly apologized Wednesday for comments he made under a pseudonym on a political blog. Despite calls for him to do so, Huppenthal also announced that he has no immediate plans to step down.

Huppenthal said he was sorry for several comments he made on the Blog for Arizona website, some of which included calling those on public assistance lazy pigs and comparing Mexican-American Studies programs to the KKK.

"They are not what is in my mind, they don’t reflect the love that is in my heart and they especially don’t reflect the actions of myself and especially my employees in this agency over the preceding years," Huppenthal said.

Several community leaders are calling for the superintendent’s resignation, including Lawrence Robinson, a local attorney who is on the governing board of the Roosevelt School District in Phoenix.

"Be accountable for your bigotry, be accountable for putting one more obstacle in front of children that only want the opportunity to succeed and go to school," Robinson said. "We must make him accountable as a community."

Robinson added that if the superintendent doesn’t resign, voters should kick him out. 

And not everyone was convinced of Huppenthal’s sincerity, including Blog for Arizona writer Bob Lord.

"I think what he’s really sorry about is that he got caught, because just three weeks ago he was defiant," Lord said. "He dared us to air his comments."

Huppenthal’s press conference ended emotionally on Wednesday. He left the event in tears after being asked if he considered the toll his words had on others.