Local Stories

Commentary / Comentario: Making the case for ethnic studies

Commentary / Comentario: Making the case for ethnic studies

By Frank X. Moraga
AmigosNAZ

AmigosNAZPlain

As he surveyed the room, Sean Arce hit the play button and the video kicked in on the screen. Students, high school students, could be seen on the video rushing to sit and chain themselves to the chairs belonging to board members of the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD).

What followed was chaos as security officials struggled to remove the chains and oust the students. After a while, they gave in and the board cancelled the meeting.

“So much for the notion that Latinos don’t care about education,” Arce said of the six-minute video “Fight Back — The battle to save ethnic studies,” which can be found at http://vimeo.com/24861621. “Did you chain yourself to a chair when you were in high school?

But while students won that skirmish that night, they ended up losing a larger battle when the TUSD board eventually, and under tight security — including heavy police presence, handheld metal detectors and barracades — voted in January 2012 to eliminate the district’s Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program.

They did so in order to comply with HB 2281, passed by the stage legislature and signed by Gov. Jan Brewer in 2010, which banned ethnic studies programs statewide. The law was upheld in March 2013, with the case now expected to be heard by the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals by next summer.

Meanwhile Arce, former director of the MAS Program at the school district, was fired from his position in April 2012 and spends his time talking to audiences about the law and the continuing struggle to bring back the program.

Arce of BarrioPedagogy Educational Consultants, presented his case for lifting the ban on ethnic studies, speaking to more than 75 students, faculty and community members during a presentation held Oct. 30 at Northern Arizona University.

During his talk, he spoke of how the board’s ruling violates…

Featured Photo: Sean Arce, former director of the Mexican American Studies (MAS) Program at the Tucson Unified School District, spoke about the ban on Ethnic Studies in Arizona in a packed lecture hall Oct. 30 at Northern Arizona University.Sean Arce, ex director del Programa los Estudios Mexicanos (MAS) para el Distrito Escolar Unificado de Tucson, se refirió a la prohibición de los estudios étnicos en Arizona en un auditorio lleno, el 30 de octubre en la Universidad del Norte de Arizona. Photo/foto: Frank X. Moraga / AmigosNAZ ©2013

Finish reading Commentary / Comentario: Making the case for ethnic studies

Click to add a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

Local Stories

More in Local Stories

paul-rodriguez-960x600

Latino comic Paul Rodriguez and The Pitch

Latina ListaSeptember 1, 2015
Jorge-Ramos-Hair-Portraits

Op-Ed: Why Hispanics Are Cheering For Jorge Ramos

Latina ListaAugust 31, 2015
4d42da9435093.preview-620

In search of the great New Mexico chile pepper

Latina ListaAugust 27, 2015
rwb-donkeysplit

Three Connecticut Latino Incumbents Fight Democratic Party Machine

Latina ListaAugust 26, 2015
150824-bined_6

Border economic officials: ROOT CAUSE OF ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION IS POVERTY, INSECURITY AND LACK OF OPPORTUNITY

Latina ListaAugust 25, 2015
CMeP8WMWcAA-glg

Visualizing Illinois’ Cook County Jail’s population

Latina ListaAugust 24, 2015
google-inc-starts-work-on-fiber-optic-network-in-san-antonio-texas

San Antonio says ‘Bienvenidos’ to Google Fiber

Latina ListaAugust 20, 2015
The new 5-story condiminium being built on 18th St. and San Carlos St. in the Mission Wednesday August 13, 2015. Photo by Martin Bustamante

In a city where rising rents increasingly displace low-income residents, one San Francisco block’s rapid change triggers fear and hope

Latina ListaAugust 19, 2015
150817-psja_cslap

Rio Grande Valley alumni mentor students on going to college

Latina ListaAugust 18, 2015