Ariz. Ethnic Studies Law Only Enforced in TUSD Mexican American Studies

Courtney Williams's picture
Thursday, April 5, 2012

The Arizona law that prohibits school districts from teaching classes, like the Mexican American Studies classes taught at Tucson Unified School District, says schools can’t teach courses designed “primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.”

State officials say “technically” there are many classes throughout the state violating the law but only the Mexican American Studies classes at TUSD have received complaints.

Tom Horne, Arizona’s attorney general crafted this law when he was the state’s school superintendent. He says classes in various African American Studies programs and Pan-Asian Studies programs violate this law.

“Technically they’re in violation because we think those courses are designed for students of a particular ethnic group, but you can see that even the overwhelming amount of evidence we have against the Mexican American Studies program, still we have fights in court about it,” Horne says. “We have evidence that the course was presented in a racist manner and violated the other prohibitions pushing ethnic solidarity versus treatment of kids as individuals.”

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