Saturday, February 5, 2011

AZ law forbidding ethnic studies facing lawsuit


In late December, 2010, Arizona SB 2281 went into effect. The new law bans ethnic studies, thus putting an end to the study of cultural diversity in Arizona.  One of those classes is the Mexican American Studies Class in Tucson, which has provided great insight to both minority and non-minority students.
In response to the new law, a protest group has been set up by the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) Mexian American Studies Community Advisory Board. According to organizers, Mexican American Studies class informs and motivates students.
However, newly elected Arizona Schools Superintendent John Huppenthal told the TUSD to halt classes or it would lose $15 million dollars in annual state funds. The threat breaks Huppenthal's promise to "Direct More Money Into the Classroom...too many of our education dollars are wasted on administrative bloat. More money needs to go directly to the classroom to support teachers." he says on his web page.

According to the new law, the school has 60 days to comply.   Conservative voices say the SB 2281 is designed to promote unity and non-discriminatory practices.  Specifically, the law makes a class illegal if: 1. It promotes the overthrow of the United States; 2. Promotes resentment toward a race or class of people; 3. (Is) designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group; 4. Advocates ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals."

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