Tucson Bans More Than Books – Your Right to Knowledge is Under Attack

Here’s the article: Read it.

But they’re not just banning books, which is heinous enough. It gets worse. They banned the teaching of an entire subject: Mexican-American studies.

Administrators told Mexican-American studies teachers to stay away from any class units where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes.”

From the reporters blog: Censored News

So, they banned The Tempest, too.

The decision comes from this Administrative Law Judge Opinion,:

Based on the above, the Administrative Law Judge concludes that the Department has sustained its burden of proving by a preponderance of the evidence that as of January 1, 2011, and as of the hearing dates, the District’s MAS program had at least one or more classes or courses that were in violation of A.R.S. §§ 15-112(A)(2) (promoting racial resentment), (A)(3) (being designed primarily for one ethnic group), and (A)(4) (advocating ethnic solidarity instead of treating pupils as individuals).

Superintendent Huppenthal’s June 15, 2011 determination is affirmed, and on the effective date of the Order entered in this matter, the Department shall withhold 10% of the monthly apportionment of state aid until the District comes into compliance with A.R.S.§ 15-112.

PDF of the decision

So, here’s what they’re saying: teaching students about racial discrimination, promotes racial resentment and makes the white kids feel bad:

The examples from the MAS program cited in the above Findings of Fact, as well as the weight of the testimony presented, establish that the MAS program has classes or courses designed for Latinos as a group that promotes racial resentment against “Whites,” and advocates ethnic solidarity of Latinos. (Administrative law Judge Opinion, page 34, paragraph 7)

This document (pdf) signed January 6, 2012, affirms the budget for the program should be reduced by 10%.

From that, the Tucson Unified School district did this:

All MAS courses and teaching activities, regardless of the budget line from which they are funded, shall be suspended immediately. PDF

The governing board of the Tucson Unified School District consists of these people, as identified on the district website:

GOVERNING BOARD: Dr. Mark Stegeman, President; Michael Hicks, Clerk; Miguel Cuevas; Adelita Grijalva; Alexandre Borges Sugiyama, Ph.D.
SUPERINTENDENT: John J. Pedicone, Ph.D.

This is WRONG. It’s heinous. It’s offensive. And it’s dangerous.



5 Responses to “Tucson Bans More Than Books – Your Right to Knowledge is Under Attack”

  1. Barry says:

    That’s stupid. Whoever thinks it’s a good idea to ban knowledge is worse than a idiot. Welcome to the dark ages. Political correctness and promotion of idiocy.

    Learning is the path to knowledge. Knowledge and education open doors to opportunities. Books are tools to hone one’s mind.

    being aboriginal first nation in Canada. I suspect that other people are darn too thin skinned. Teaching classical arts is not racism. if people consider reading Shakespeare racism, well they can kiss my butt cheeks.

    In my opinion there’s nothing wrong in reading the classics.

    By the way I am not Hispanic/Latino, I am aboriginal first nation person.

    • There’s just so much wrong with the Arizona decision. Shakespeare’s The Tempest was singled out as promoting “racial divisions” but not Othello, but I guess maybe their feeling was that the dark guy got what was coming to him? They also banned Sherman Alexie, who is a Spokane Indian, and one of the US’s finest writers living. That’s just heinous.

  2. Jami Gold says:

    Hi Carolyn,

    I live in Arizona, and I want to point out that the Tucson School District did this ON PURPOSE to manipulate the media to report events this way. The State of Arizona has been fighting the Tucson School District for years about reverse-discrimination.

    From everything I’ve read (and granted, I’m not in Tucson) non-Hispanics were NOT allowed to enroll in the Mexican-American Studies classes. These MAS classes were not electives, but rather replacing core classes (i.e., those needed to pass standardized testing and college pre-reqs). Over the years, several Hispanic teachers of those classes have called for an end to the hatred taught (the classes, in the words of teachers who taught them, promoted the idea of civil war and revolution to claim southern Arizona for Hispanics–that’s what La Raza’s goals are). Those teachers protesting how much hatred they were told to teach their MAS classes were fired by the Tucson School District.

    In other words, the Tucson School District, by enforcing segregation and NOT teaching the necessary core classes to Hispanics was doing far more harm than good.

    The State of Arizona finally stepped in (again, after years of fighting with Tucson) to say that these MAS classes weren’t approved curriculum. The intent was for Tucson to re-engineer them to being open to all, elective, etc. Tucson’s response is to act ON THEIR OWN in a way to make Arizona look at bad as possible.

    I strongly disagree with censorship. And I strongly disagree with the Tucson School District’s actions. However, please understand that this was not an Arizona action, but the action of a petulant district that’s trying to make a media splash by manipulating people’s reactions.

  3. Jami Gold says:

    No problem! I’d love to see the essays and writings removed from the classroom brought back in classes open to the whole student body. I’d love for there to be honest discussions about the good and bad in every culture and society. But I’m afraid actions like this only add to the vitriol and class/race warfare. *sigh*

    Sorry, I’d come by to see your post about that Cale guy but got distracted by the conversation here. LOL! Take care!