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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John H.
John H.4 years ago

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?

surjit k.
surjit k.4 years ago

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

jane richmond
jane richmond5 years ago

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

gary leigh
gary leigh5 years ago


ruth a.
ruth a.5 years ago

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.

Avery E.
Avery Ecklein5 years ago

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

Gary Heck
Gary Heck5 years ago

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.

Lika S.
Lika S.5 years ago

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

Its ridiculous to do these things.

Kay L.
KayL NOFORWARDS5 years ago

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?

Dale A.
Dale A.5 years ago

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