Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, March 21, 2011

Mexican Studies in Tucson

Arizona passed a law last year that bans public school courses that promote resentment toward a race or class of people, or encourage the overthrow of the United States government. This law also prohibits courses designed primarily for a particular ethnic group or that promote ethnic solidarity rather than treating kids as individuals. This law took effect the first of this year. If the school violates the law, it can lose some of its state funding.

The state superintendent of public instruction plans to keep the pressure on the Tucson district to comply with the new law. He has observed first hand the controversial Tucson course and calls it "an unbalanced, politicized, and historically inaccurate view of American history." The really obnoxious part of this is that the course is taught to fulfill the curriculum's American history requirement.

Tucson school district has already filed a lawsuit in federal court challenging the new law on the ground that it violates the first and 14th Amendments of the Constitution, and charging that the law is "racial bias" aimed at Hispanics. However, the state has evidence from teachers familiar with the classes who say that the courses "indoctrinate students ... in the belief that there is a war against Latino culture perpetrated by a white, racist, capitalist system." One student said, "Before I took this course, I didn't realize that I was oppressed. Now that I took this course, I realize that I am oppressed."

A major theme of the course is the assertion that the United States has stolen former Mexican territory. The course teaches that Arizona, California, New Mexico and Colorado are really part of a mythical Mexican province called Aztlan. Course materials teach kids that the Mexicans "are slowly taking back Aztlan as our numbers multiply." This should not be taught in our schools paid for by U.S. taxpayers.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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