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Arizona Teachers Sue Over Ethnic Studies Law

Arizona Teachers Sue Over Ethnic Studies Law

Teachers in Arizona opposed to a new law that targets the Tucson Unified School District’s ethnic studies program are suing to overturn the measure, according to The Washington Post.

The lawsuit, which claims state law HB 2281 violates at least two constitutional amendments, names outgoing state schools superintendent Tom Horne and the entire State Board of Education as defendants.

No More Ethnic Studies?

As Jessica Pieklo wrote here, last May Governor Jan Brewer signed into law this bill, which prohibits schools from offering courses at any grade level that advocate ethnic solidarity, promote overthrow of the US government, or cater to specific ethnic groups. That all sounds reasonable. But the effect of these regulations would be to dismantle the state’s popular Mexican-American studies program.

Politics Disguised As Education

It turns out that the bill was passed largely on account of State Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne’s personal distaste for the Tucson school district’s Chicano studies program. But with Horne, a Republican, currently running for Attorney General in Arizona, skeptics believe that this is yet another case of political maneuvering dressed up as education reform.

Tom Horne’s Response

Predictably, Horne has blasted the lawsuit, saying it is “fundamentally wrong to divide students up according to their racial group and teach them separately.”

Horne says he believes the Tucson school district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. He says public schools shouldn’t be encouraging students to resent a particular race.

More power to this group of teacher in Arizona who have joined forces to oppose Horne’s misguided and dangerous attempt to get rid of this ethnic studies program.

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27 comments

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11:32PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

To Gary Heck: There is a White Pride Week--every week! When the only point of view--when the textbooks are written by and for white children--it is White Pride week every week! Honestly, how can you hold such a bigoted position?

4:59PM PST on Jan 18, 2011

Why don't we do away with English and start teaching Arabic, and their culture, because in future that is what Americans will need when these people take it over see www.blip.tv/file/1382254

6:55PM PDT on Nov 6, 2010

Can you spell racism, children??? GO TEACHERS!!!!
After we get rid of this stupidity maybe we can get back to teaching>

5:07PM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

THESE COURSES REENFORCE UN-AMERICAN AGENDA AT A TIME WHEN WE ARE TRYING TO GET PEOPLE TO LEARN ENGLISH AND BECOME AMERICAN. THIS SIDE OF THE STORY IS NOT TOLD BY THE PEOPLE BEHIND THIS.

7:45AM PDT on Oct 22, 2010

Your ignorance is frightening, Gary Heck! How about you just Google "Latin American culture in the US" for example and, oh, look at that 9½ million websites to educate yourself with.

3:49PM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

I loathe Arizona because of they hate Hispanics and favour white one!

9:44AM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

My question is this; Why isn't there a White Pride Week or a Caucasian appreciation month or a white culture studies curriculum offered in the schools? Also, why are white males the only group that have no protection against discrimination?

I mean, like it or not, the simple and indisputable fact is that even though there were people of many colors and nationalities involved in the development of the U.S., the vast majority were white males. The first explorers who developed this continent were white, the founding fathers of this country were white, the vast majority of those who fought and died in the war for independence were white, the vast majority who fought and died in war of 1812 were white and the same is true for every other war including the civil war, Spanish-American war, WW1, WW2, Korean, Vietnam and the Gulf wars. Whenever this country is threatened, the vast majority who step forward to defend it are white. Does that sound racist? I have to ask why? It's the truth, plain, simple and completely supported by fact.

My position is this; When someone can show me exactly what the Latino culture, African culture or any other culture has done to improve this country, then I'll support my tax money going to support classes to teach about it. Until then, we live in the greatest country in the world, if they want to learn about culture they should start with the American culture.

2:52AM PDT on Oct 21, 2010

Okay, so lets banish black history month, women's history month, Cinco de Mayo, Native American Week, etc...

Its ridiculous to do these things.

9:30PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Sounds like the Tucson Unified School District's ethnic studies program needs to be targeted for reform. Whatever happened to the American principles of freedom and justice for *all*, which includes teaching the cultures and rights of all and not just the whites?

7:42PM PDT on Oct 20, 2010

Someone please tell Amber that "white" is not an ethnicity. Sheesh!

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