Tucson Unified School District Bans Books

Remember when Arizona banned ethnic studies in the state’s schools?


The Tucson Unified school district has succumbed, deciding against fighting the measure, and has complied a list of books that are banned from the district’s classrooms.

from Brenda Norrell:

“Students said the banned books were seized from their classrooms and out of their hands, after Tucson schools banned Mexican American Studies, including a book of photos of Mexico. Crying, students said it was like Nazi Germany, and they were unable to sleep since it happened.”

This is unacceptable. Banning books is banning knowledge–just what is it that Tucson and Arizona officials do not want schoolchildren in Arizona to know?

Here is a shortlist of the books banned:

Pedagogy of the Oppressed by  Paolo Freire

Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuña

Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow and Bob Peterson

The Tempest by William Shakespeare

Chicano!: The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales

500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures by Elizabeth Martinez

Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado and Jean Stefancic

Evidently, anything where “race, ethnicity and oppression are central themes.”

The Tucson Citizen reports that OccupyTUSD will be holding a daily protest from 4-6pm at the school district headquarters.

I plan to add these books to my reading list–anything that John Huppenthal, the Tea Partier that was elected in 2010 to Arizona’s statewide superintendent of public instruction post, is so afraid of. (And really? Who the fuck elects a Tea Partier to an education post? Apparently Arizona. Come on, Arizona. What. The. Fuck.)

You know what I’d like to do, though? I’d like to send copies of these books to the students that had theirs snatched away from them. Let’s do that. Would anybody else like to do that?


About Brittany-Ann
Brittany-Ann is a proud, self-identified feminist with fictional tendencies. She currently writes for LouisvilleKY.com and moderates at My Fault I'm Female. She smokes camels, reads Dumas, and navigates a conservative state as "one of them darn liberals."

8 Responses to Tucson Unified School District Bans Books

  1. fml221 says:

    That is crazy, crazy, crazy. Sure, I’d love to send books… don’t know how we’d get them in the right hands though.

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      That is my dilemma. Maybe I can connect with Occupy Tucson? That would be awesome.

      People taking books away from kids (anyone, really) makes me so angry. If they can’t have their program, we can at least give them the books and let them learn on their own.

  2. Politicalguineapig says:

    The Tempest? Whut? Wish I had a copy. Well, I do, but it’s part of a bound megavolume of all of Shakespeare’s work. But seriously, banning Shakespeare? Has Arizona always been insane?

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      Arizona is also the creator of SB1070, the law that allows police to demand proof of citizenship of anyone they stop on the street.

      This kind of sentiment is everywhere-and it must be opposed wherever it is, rather than demonizing the entire state-the students and people of color, and any other person that is fighting this stuff needs our support.

  3. Tom Webb says:

    Perhaps Occupy can assemble some contact mechanism wherein web participants can mail their copies to be distributed locally?

    • Brittany-Ann says:

      I’m going to see if I can get in touch with someone on the ground there, to ask if there is any interest in doing this, and if there’s any other way that we can support them. Thanks for the interest!

  4. Pingback: Update: Tuscon Unified School District Bans Books « A Bookish Beemer

  5. Pingback: Tucson Unified School District Bans Books | tumblr backups

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