Sunday, January 22, 2012

Banning Books in Tucson Not Cool

   The Tucson school board outraged the nation when they cancelled the district's high school 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 which was 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 whole country is watching.
Latinos in Tucson make up more than half of the student population and they are fighting back alongside educators and parents.
   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.
   As the daughter of immigrants, one of the most empowering moments of my life was learning about Latino history in school. I learned about our contributions to this country and it instilled in me pride in my family and our collective history as Latinos and Latinas in the US.
   Tucson's Mexican American Studies program gave Latino students the same 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.

[] Laurie on behalf of the team

No comments:

Post a Comment