Legislators urge TUSD board to hold off on Ethnic Studies vote
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - A week after students took over the TUSD board meeting and chained themselves to chairs, legislators from Arizona's Hispanic Caucus are speaking up but for some, the words are hard to get out.
"We have the right to prepare our children in the way we think so," said State Rep. Macario Saldate.
When Rep. Saldate was at young student at TUSD, he said teachers spanked him and washed his mouth with soap for speaking Spanish. He said the Ethnic Studies program was a huge win for his generation and he thought the battle was over.
"Then all of a sudden you wake up and say hey, it's back again, and you do get emotional to see all this sadness of the circumstance. Where and when does this stop, when does this end?" said Rep. Saldate.
The Democratic legislators want the drama to end soon but not the way board president Dr. Mark Stegeman is proposing. Stegeman believes Ethnic Studies should become elective courses but the Hispanic Caucus thinks the board should stick to the plan and let the program's fate come from the state.
"For the school district to move forward without having the audit and having to see what the superintendent is saying is just premature, so were saying hold off. Hold off," said State Rep. Steve Gallardo.
Many of the legislators believe holding off could give ethnic studies a better chance of surviving.
TUSD board members are holding a public meeting to discuss ethnic studies and the community's concerns on Tuesday.