Ethnic Studies in Arizona: Both Sides of the Story Essay

1189 Words Mar 25th, 2013 5 Pages
The Tucson Unified School District Board elected to suspend the Mexican-American Studies Program to be in compliance with the state law Arizona statute ARS 15-112. This decision was also made to avoid losing ten percent of its budget in this period of a struggling economy; but that does not complete the story. The history of disagreement began when Tom Horne, the State Superintendent of Schools, during the last days of his term found Tucson School District in violation of all four provisions of the state law ARS 15-112. John Huppenthal, who took over as Superintendent of Schools followed up on the decision by ordering an audit of the program and concluded the same.
What is ARS 15-112 and how does it relate to Ethnic Studies Program at
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There is a concern among the large number of Mexican Americans in Arizona that within this law there are fallacies. Does this statute take away their right as individuals or does it give them this impression that they do not belong here and if they want to live here they will have to forget their ethnic past and belongings and pay the price? But the First Amendment gives liberty and freedom to every American regardless of color, creed, religion or race. The freedom of choice is part of basic human rights and the laws should not govern this rule.
One more highlighting point of the conflict is budget constraint, which is evident from the decision of the TUSD board, but does it realize the importance of ethnic studies in general? Ethnic Studies Programs’ diversity makes it a special program because it highlights the historical importance and background of different races in America. It is special in every way and that is one reason the teachers and followers of the program want support on the cause. As DA Morales writes in Tucson Citizen, “Once you start banning books and censoring knowledge, the boundaries of where to stop always go against the American theme of liberty and freedom” (Morales). So the writer is trying to emphasize on the American theme which is liberty and freedom by linking it to banning of books and knowledge. But the question is, is it actually like that.
To understand the situation from a balanced perspective it is of extreme

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