Banned Ethnic Studies Books in Arizona
As some of you know, ethnic studies books and volumes on Mexican American history have been banned in Arizona. Books by the following authors (and others) have been banned: Cisneros, Silko, Freire, Zinn, Alexie…and even Shakespeare. Why? Apparently, because the teaching of mutual respect for other cultures is not allowed. This issue is intertwined with SB1070.
I was very surprised to find that Shakespeare is on the list of banned authors. Maybe they were thinking of “Othello.” Good heavens. I am in support of ethnic studies curriculum in our schools, colleges and universities, as well as free speech.
Hope you will consider signing the petition below. What follows is the letter accompanying this petition. People need to learn to respect each other more as human beings. Whether someone is an American or an immigrant, s/he is a human being. Everyone on earth has basic human rights and needs that need to be honored, if this planet is to survive.
For more information, please contact one of the web links below.
Last week, the Tucson school board outraged the nation when they cancelled its high schools’ Mexican American Studies program and forcibly banned a series of books dealing with race. The reason?
Apparently teaching respect for other cultures amounts to “racial hatred” and is in violation of Arizona’s statewide ban against ethnic studies – passed in conjunction with SB1070.
Since the news broke, the school board has been catching heat and there is a chance they’ll allow the books back in the classroom, but they need to know the we’re watching.
With Latino students in Tucson making up more than half of the student population – educators, parents, and students are fighting back. Can you sign this petition to Superintendent John Pedicone and the school board to reverse the decision to ban the books and reinstate the Mexican American Studies program? I just signed myself:
Arizona has been ground zero for attacks against immigrant and Latino families, creating a hateful environment where it’s acceptable to attack Latino youth in a place where they need affirmation – their classrooms.
Tucson’s Mexican American Studies program gave Latino students a sense of dignity and connection to their own history and other students were offered an insight to a community that is a huge part of the local culture but all too often demonized.
Students in Arizona are fighting to keep these programs in spite of the wave of anti-immigrant hysteria in the state and now they need our help in keeping up the fight.
Can you sign this petition to Tucson Superintendent John Pedicone and the school board to reverse the decision reinstate the Mexican American Studies class?
Here are some links about this:
Tucson students confront loss of their Chicano studies class, LA Times, 1/11/12
Tucson says banished books may return to classrooms, Salon.com, 1/18/12
Save Ethnic Studies in Arizona, Facebook Page
For further reading:
Tags: alexie, arizona books, colleges and universities, dear friend, ethnic studies, freire, good heavens, justin sullivan, latino students, mexican american history, mutual respect, othello, racial hatred, statewide ban, student population, studies books, studies curriculum, superintendent john, tucson school