What's the proper way to respond if you're a government official who's asked to read to elementary school students, then told you've been un-invited because you're too controversial? If you have even a shred of class, you say "I'm sorry you feel that way," and move on. If you're Maricopa County's self-proclaimed "toughest sheriff," Joe Arpaio, the obvious move is to cry about it in the form of a press release bashing the school -- which is exactly what happened this afternoon.
Arpaio was slated to read to students at the Sahuaro Elementary School in Phoenix as part of the "Read Across America" program this afternoon, but the school pulled the plug on the appearance because, Arpaio claims,
there were doubts he knew how to read the sheriff is "too controversial."
Arpaio claims the decision to yank the invitation came from the administrative level, where the assistant superintendent of the school district felt that having the county's brown-bashing top cop read to students might offend the parents of Hispanic student.
The school district could not be reached for comment this afternoon.
Somebody call the whambulance -- Joe's getting cranky.
"To disrespect the chief law enforcement authority of the county in this way is a bad example
to students and the community overall," Arpaio says. "The program I was to participate in
was about literacy - the importance of reading - and had nothing whatsoever to do with law
enforcement or my efforts to fight illegal immigration."