Tucson students to create human chain in protest of bill that does away ethnic studies

LatinaLista — The furor over the signing of Arizona SB 1070 that allows for the citizenship status of all Latinos to be questioned by the state’s police has overshadowed an equally disturbing bill that Arizona Gov. Brewer may be on the verge of signing — HB 2281.

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HB 2281 cuts off funding for schools K-12 that offer ethnic studies as part of their curriculum. The bill is the culmination of a long-term effort by Tom Horne, the state Superintendent of Public Instruction.

The legislation came about in response to the Tucson school district’s practice of integrating Mexican-American studies into its K-12 curriculum, and targets, among other things, classes that are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity. Despite its admitted targeting of Mexican-American studies in Tucson, the law will impact education statewide and has the potential to affect all racially or ethnically sensitive classes for Arizona students.

While Horne doesn’t like that ethnic studies are interjected into the curriculum and believes that they are fostering negative attitudes, Tucson students have a different opinion and plan to show it with a 24 Hour Human Chain protest.

According to the Facebook page set up for the event:

24 hr Candle light vigil to support Ethnic Studies and Education in Arizona. We need to make it known we wont stand for this legislature that is denying freedom to our State.
HB 2281 is a bill that is stating that any classes of ethnic studies are supposedly trying to overthrow the US Government or teaching hatred of other races.

We will be standing together in solidarity to show that the only way that we can move forward in this country is to understand all cultures and histories, and we can not do that if our opportunities are taken away.

The protest will take place at the Tucson High Magnet school. So far, over 100 people have confirmed their participation.

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