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30 Minutes- Save Ethnic Studies
Save Ethnic Studies (20:06) 2011-01-30 Amanda Shauger
30 Minutes- Save Ethnic Studies TUSD students form human chain around administrative building in opposition to HB 2281 in May 2010. Amanda Shauger
30 Minutes features remarks made by educators from Tucson Unified School District's Mexican American Studies Department. In his last act as Superintendent of Public Instruction, Tom Horne declared that TUSD's Mexican American Studies Department was in violation of HB 2281. Arizona legislators passed the controversial law in May 2010. HB 2281 specifically precludes courses which teach any of the following.
1. Promote the overthrow of the US Government.
2. Promote resentment toward a race or class of people.
3. Are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group.
4. Advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.

Horne says that the classes violate all four, but he is focusing on #3- that the classes are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group. The new Superintendent of Public Education John Huppenthal supports Horne's findings.

TUSD maintains they are in compliance and stands to lose 10% of their budget if the classes continue.

In October, eleven TUSD Mexican American Studies teachers filed suit in federal court saying that HB 2281 would violate their first and fourteenth amendment rights and that the law is vague.

30 Minutes features remarks made by some of the eleven plaintiffs. A panel of educators spoke at the Combating Hate, Censorship and Forbidden Curriculum Conference in December. Primary speakers include Director of Mexican American Studies Sean Arce, Director of Student Equity Augustine Romero, and MAS teacher Jose Gonzales. More information is available at SaveEthnicStudies.org.