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Tucson School Board Won’t Challenge Ethnic Studies Ban

Tucson School Board Won’t Challenge Ethnic Studies Ban

Last night, the clock ticked down to the deadline. The Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Governing Board had a choice between standing with eleven teachers in the district who plan to continue teaching Mexican American studies classes in defiance of the ban under HB2281, OR siding with the state and enforcing the controversial and possibly unconstitutional law.

The TUSD chose the latter.

The teachers have chosen to fight the ethnic studies ban full-on. Their lawsuit may now include the very board they were hoping to ally with:

“I opposed HB 2281, but it is now the law of Arizona, and it is the board’s duty and sworn responsibility to uphold the law,” [Governing Board President Mark] Stegeman said. “The law incorporates a procedure to appeal the state superintendent’s ruling, but TUSD cannot simply ignore the law.”

The law was written by then Arizona state school superintendent Tom Horne, who was recently elected Arizona’s state attorney general. Horne’s successor in the school superintendent position shares his anti-Latino stance. The kinds of classes in jeopardy are part of an overall desegregation order and, the teachers argue, are designed to present information to Latinos and non-Latinos together.

According to The Arizona Republic, the Mexican-American studies program includes high school class work about historical and contemporary Mexican-American contributions, social justice and stereotypes. Students may examine U.S. history from a Chicano perspective.

The program was first adopted as part of a desegregation order, which stemmed from a 1974 federal lawsuit by an African-American couple alleging racial bias. The Tucson school district started an African-American studies program and added Mexican-American studies in 1997.

Please sign the petition to support the eleven brave teachers who are standing tall for ethnic studies in Arizona!

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Photo by Wing-Chi Poon via Wikimedia Commons

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58 comments

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5:09AM PDT on Mar 30, 2012

James s. (insert ancestry here) should read European' not American.
So America, when they teach European American studies it's probably called history. But any other nationality and it's regarded as ethnic.
It's a shame that you can insult Hispanics with impunity, but aren't they Euro-American just like the rest of you? They come from Spain, you come from Ireland or Sweden or Poland. Or is that you are blonde and they've got black hair so they're not as white as you, so have to be discriminated against. 
European Americans complain bitterly if anyone plays the race card, but the way I see it,...it's only one card...out of a whole freakin deck! You got 51 left. You don't want to give up 2%? I know it's metaphorical, but it's a bad metaphor, a useless saying. A platitude easily deconstructed by intelligent people.
All this 'beaner bashing' is going to come back and haunt you America. You are radicalising your neighbours to the south. And in 20 years time they'll be bombing your government buildings, we in England did the same, we used to Paki bash' and  those same hard working humble servile people now are our terrorists. And do we insult them any more? What do you think?

3:12AM PDT on Mar 29, 2012

James s. (insert ancestry here) should read European' not American.

So America, when they teach European American studies it's probably called history. But any other nationality and it's regarded as ethnic.
It's a shame that you can insult Hispanics with impunity, but aren't they Euro-American just like the rest of you? They come from Spain, you come from Ireland or Sweden or Poland. Or is that you are blonde and they've got black hair so they're not as white as you, so have to be discriminated against. 
European Americans complain bitterly if anyone plays the race card, but the way I see it,...it's only one card...out of a whole freakin deck! You got 51 left. You don't want to give up 2%? I know it's metaphorical, but it's a bad metaphor, a useless saying. A platitude easily deconstructed by intelligent people.
All this 'beaner bashing' is going to come back and haunt you America. You are radicalising your neighbours to the south. And in 20 years time they'll be bombing your government buildings, we in England did the same, we used to Paki bash' and  those same hard working humble servile people now are our terrorists. And do we insult them any more? What do you think?

8:17PM PST on Feb 23, 2011

Seems I write more about immigration and womens rights than any other topic, because so many hate-filled Righties want to quash diversity. Don't they realize that we are a nation of immigrants? (they only recognize the white-skinned ones)

10:01PM PST on Feb 9, 2011

bad coding on this site....sheesh....They won't stop spam around here but something in brackets gets instantly squashed.

The last line of my comment should have had "Insert Ancestry Here" - American

9:58PM PST on Feb 9, 2011

I'd like to demand an Irish-American, Native American, Italian-American and -American studies be added to our curriculums.

3:15AM PST on Jan 25, 2011

The irony is the same people having a fit that these 'ethnic studies' were stopped, but did not even stop to think why 'ethnic studies' do not encompasses the study of all ethnicities.

Why do I or my child need to be force fed information pertaining to Latino history, but our Native American (or many of countless other) heritage is swept under the rug?

Educate in a way that is beneficial to the whole, and not in a way that works to segregate in its own right. Encourage children and adults to want to find out about their own heritage so that they might share it.

These programs encourage the very concept they claim to dispel, setting aside special attention to a group of people, and expecting that will not create ill feelings when those not belonging to that group are not given such special attention.

Learning about a countries roots, mistakes, triumphs, and failures encourages patriotism and a sense of what it is to be a part of said country.

Discovering your heritage and all the customs that are woven into it are a matter for family. To be shared with others but not forced upon them as a requirement of an education.

We are Americans. What is the harm in learning about the history and heritage of America? Why does any other nationality need special treatment?

Educate the people in as true and encompassing way as possible. Teach skills needed to live successfully. Through proper education unify, and not segregate with ethnic favoritism.

11:09PM PST on Jan 20, 2011

Cowards. Haven't they learned anything from what has been happening in their own town! Cowards, that's all I can say. So glad I moved out of Arizona!

10:45AM PST on Jan 18, 2011

Ronald N - I agree with you absolutely.
Our country is a great melting pot and each individual should take the time to learn what makes the USA so different than other countries - and focus on the different nationalities that have contributed to this great land. It's not so much world history but the history of those who came to the United States, some recently, some a long time ago, plus those who were here before the 1600's.

9:35AM PST on Jan 18, 2011

@ timothy, you said "Opposing ethnic studies classes isn't necessarily "anti-Latino" -- just another example of the Care2Action writers' biases."

I completely agree with you. I am certainly NOT anti-Latino, but I am opposed to ethnic classes. People need to do their own research!

It's just the race card being played once again!

7:54AM PST on Jan 18, 2011

Arizona sucks. What a bunch of racist jerks! Oh Mexico, we're mad at you so we aren't going to teach our kids about your country. Wow, grow up!!

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