Update: Tuscon Unified School District Bans Books

I’ve been spending some time today reading up on ARS 15-111/15-112, the law that has banned ethnic studies in Arizona, from whence the book ban came, and the people that are fighting it.

I had an idea in my last post, to send copies of the banned books to the students in the Tucson Unified School District, and a lot of people really like the idea. I plan to reach out, to see if this is a doable thing, but first, I want to do some reading. I want to find out what the people of Tucson are doing, what they want done, before I jump in, going all White Knight. I want to be a good ally, not some obnoxious fool jumping in to drain resources. (and I hope you do, too.)

I know you’re itching for some action, though (who isn’t?) so here’s what I’ve found so far:

SaveEthnicStudies.org has a petition on their site for you to sign. Here’s the text of the petition:

“We the undersigned support the effort to save ethnic studies in the Tucson Unified School District. The Mexican American Studies program poses no threat to the state of Arizona or its education system. On the contrary, it provides a proven-effective method to educate students and motivate them to stay in school and become productive leaders in their community.

We stand in opposition to State Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal’s attempt to withhold $15 million of state funding from the school district. This action is completely unwarranted given the results of the independent audit commissioned by the state, which found the program to be fully in compliance with Arizona’s ethnic studies ban. In fact, the audit recommended that the program be maintained as part of the core curriculum for high schools in the district.

The Mexican American Studies program should be applauded and replicated for its success, not destroyed by a pointless ban.”

So go sign it!

SaveEthnicStudies.org also has a ton of information: court documents, a background, a nice list of all the important players, news links, and other items of interest. If you’re an academic, journalist, or just a fan of primary documents, this is the place to go. Some pages, like the news page, haven’t been updated for a while, but the information is still very valuable for catching up on the background of this issue, especially if you’re not familiar with what’s been going on.

For discussion and links, check out the Save Ethnic Studies in Arizona Facebook page.

The National Council of La Raza is “the largest national Hispanic civil rights and advocacy organization in the United States—works to improve opportunities for Hispanic Americans.  Through its network of nearly 300 affiliated community-based organizations, NCLR reaches millions of Hispanics each year in 41 states, Puerto Rico, and the District of Columbia.  To achieve its mission, NCLR conducts applied research, policy analysis, and advocacy, providing a Latino perspective in five key areas—assets/investments, civil rights/immigration, education, employment and economic status, and health. In addition, it provides capacity-building assistance to its Affiliates who work at the state and local level to advance opportunities for individuals and families.” Just glancing over, I can’t find a whole lot about the book ban in particular, but they’re the ones hosting the petition for SaveEthnicStudies.org, so it’s worth checking them out.

Occupy Tucson–look here for information on direct action, new items, and ways to support the community as it fights for itself.


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."

3 Responses to Update: Tuscon Unified School District Bans Books

  1. Dan Kleinman says:

    Phew! Big brouhaha over nothing. Yes, the curriculum removal is a big issue. But the claims of book “banning” is completely false, let alone overblown. If a curriculum is removed then all of its materials are removed. Sounds like an educational decision to me, even if a poor one, and I do not take a position on that, but it has nothing to do with book banning, except to the extent people can use the false banning issue to support their arguments for restoration of the curriculum. Great, support restoration of the curriculum, but I suggest not doing it on the back of the false argument about book “banning.”

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