Tucson Youth Group Hosts Their Own Chicano Studies Classes on Weekends

Source: teacheractivistgroups.org and colorlines.com

Chris Summitt

by Jorge Rivas, Thursday, February 2 2012

Organizers from Unidos, a youth group that opposes the Mexican-American studies ban that went in to affect January 1st in Tucson, have started organizing their own weekly ethnic studies classes.

“We’re teaching the traditional curriculum, if a student was in the Mexican American history perspective classes they defaulted to a traditional history class,” Sean Arce told Feet in Two Worlds. Arce is the co-founder and director of the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican American studies program.

“We want to plant a seed, to keep learning about our history and culture,” Jesus Romero a member of Unidos told Feet in Two Worlds.

Sixty percent of the over 55,000 students in the Tucson school district are Latino.

Below are images courtesy of Chris Summitt.

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Banned Books in Arizona: Tucson Students Walk Out, Speak Out

On Martin Luther King Day in Tucson 2012, Tucson students spoke out on the seizure of books from their classrooms and the decision to forbid Mexican American Studies. The public school district, Tucson Unified School District, voted in Jan 2012 to forbid the studies after Arizona threatened to extract millions of dollars. Rethinking Columbus was one of seven books moved to a depository by the schools. There are 50 books on the reading list. 

[Thanks to CENSORED NEWS for bringing the news of this resistance. — Frontlines ed.]

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Students Step Up Tucson Walkouts

Protest School District Folly and Mexican American Studies Banishment

As the nation watches the Tucson Unified School District’s spiral into disarray, hundreds of students walked out of their Tucson schools Monday in a coordinated protest against the banishment of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.(Photo: D.A. Morales)Pouring into the downtown Tucson area from Pueblo, Cholla and Tucson high schools, among other institutions, the students brought their march to the offices of floundering Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) administrators. In recent days, administrators and board members have issued a series of conflicting and inaccurate statements and carried out the extreme actions of confiscating books in front of children. Last week, a recently hired assistant superintendent from Texas made a troubing call for the deeply rooted Tucson students–many of whom trace their ancestors to the town founders– to “go to Mexico” to study their history.

In a district with over 60 percent of the students coming from Mexican American backgrounds, the TUSD board “dismantled its Mexican-American studies program, packed away its offending books, shuttled its students into other classes,” according to an editorial in the New York Times on Sunday, because “it was blackmailed into doing so.” Continue reading