"Hello? I'm looking for a Mr. Butts, first name Seymour."

Group of children laughing after a prank phone call
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As a child, there's nothing more exhilarating than making crank calls to businesses, schools, or just people you want to mess with. For the most part, while slightly annoying to the recipient, these calls are harmless.

The issues arise when prank calls interfere with government policy.

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Empower Hotline

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One year ago, Arizona state superintendent Tom Horne launched the Empower Hotline for students and parents across the state to use. The hotline is meant for community members to report controversial teachings and issues in school districts.

This came around during the beginning of the war on Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion training and lessons in the state of Arizona, and the hotline's primary function is to notify the state when classes focus too heavily on DEI.

Phoning It In

Man dialing a landline phone
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Hopes may have been high for the hotline at launch, but Horne may have miscalculated how little the youth like authority. Since its inception the hotline has received over 35,000 calls. How many of those required any kind of follow-up? 200.

Most of the calls that have been placed are either prank calls meant to mess with the operators, or more thought out fake complaints, meant to waste time and resources.

Man looking goofy while talking on the phone
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This comes as no surprise. Younger people have a drastically higher rate of accepting and using DEI training, which explains why they would feel so passionately about taking down a service meant to stop it.

It's not just the kids that have an animosity to the hotline. Many parents have been vocal about their distain for it, believing that the money spent would be more useful in the classroom.

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