9OYS Continuing Coverage: Ethnic Studies
Judge extends TUSD's ethnic studies appeal, Huppenthal could testify
Reporter: Steve Nuñez
PHOENIX, Ariz. (KGUN9-TV) - The principal at the center of TUSD's Ethnic Studies Program finally testified in the district's appeal of State Superintendent John Huppenthal's findings that the program violates state law. But the Tucson High School principal denied the state's claim that the program lacks oversight and administrative scrutiny.
However, before the state rested its case, attorney's representing Huppenthal continued questioning Sean Arce. He's the director for the controversial program.
The attorney's asked Arce whether the quote, "... Mexicans are no better than Indians...," recited in a textbook titled, "The X in Chicano," incites racial resentment towards whites.
Arce said, "No." He testified telephonically.
9 On Your Side Reporter Steve Nuñez asked the book's author, Roberto Rodriguez, UA Raza Studies Professor, what the intent of the quote contextualized.
"The state is implying that we teach hate and no, no, we're fighting hate, we're rejecting dehumanization," Said Rodriguez.
TUSD then called Morado as its first witness.
Morado testified Raza Studies teachers are evaluated twice a year. He said two other assistant principals often conduct unannounced visits as part of their evaluations.
But on cross examination, Morado said the evaluations do not measure if teachers are teaching racial resentment.
Nuñez asked: "Dr. (John) Pedicone (TUSD Superintendent) testified that the program needs more oversight, why did you testify that the program is properly evaluated?"
Morado said, "We don't believe we've done anything wrong. And so it doesn't speak to me that I need to then, in turn, begin to evaluate it as though they're doing something wrong."
The district's attorney's then called Dr. Jeff Milem to the stand. Milem, a UA Professor who is considered an expert on critical race theory, then testified teaching different racial perspectives promotes individualism and not ethnic solidarity as the state claims it does.
Nuñez asked: "Why did you testify that teaching students about Mexican-American's who were lynched by Anglos does not promote racial resentment?"
"I think it promotes resentment if we don't teach the parts of our history that aren't as pretty or as convenient then if we do," answered Milem.
Administrative Law Judge Lewis Kowal extended the hearing one more day. The fourth and final hearing will be held on October 17th.
In the meantime, the judge will rule on whether or not he'll accept Huppenthal's deposition as testimony. If not, Kowal could order Huppenthal to testify in person.
The group, Save Ethnic Studies, plans to file a motion next week asking a federal judge to immediately rule on the constitutionality of the law that bans ethnic studies.