9OYS Education Watch
TUSD says claims of book ban incorrect
Books used as supporting materials for curriculum in Mexican American Studies classes
Students from several schools in the Tucson Unified School District walked out in protest of the vote to end Mexican American classes.
The TUSD Board voted 4-to-1 to end Mexican American Studies classes and avoid almost $15 Million in penalties from the Arizona Department of Education.
Web Producer: Ina Ronquillo
TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - The Tucson Unified School District has released a statement claiming they have not banned any books as reported by several local blogs.
According to a statement received from TUSD spokeswoman Cara Rene, seven books used as supporting materials for curriculum in Mexican American Studies classes were moved to the district storage facility since classes were suspended as per the ruling by Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal. Superintendent Huppenthal upheld an Office of Administration Hearings’ ruling that the classes were in violation of state law ARS 15-112.
The books that have been moved to a storage facility by TUSD are as follows:
- Critical Race Theory by Richard Delgado
- 500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures edited by Elizabeth Martinez
- Message to AZTLAN by Rodolfo Corky Gonzales
- Chicano! The History of the Mexican Civil Rights Movement by Arturo Rosales
- Occupied America: A History of Chicanos by Rodolfo Acuna
- Pedagogy of the Oppressed by Paulo Freire
- Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years by Bill Bigelow
TUSD wants to reiterate that none of the above books have been banned by the district. Each book has been boxed and stored as part of the process of suspending the classes. All the books in the list above are still available to students through several school libraries.
The Mexican American Studies classes that were suspended converted last week to standard grade-level courses with a general curriculum featuring multiple perspectives, as per the directive by the state superintendent. TUSD says students are now using traditional textbooks in all their classes.
KGUN9 Reporter Valerie Cavazos reported Friday that teachers were ordered to remove books from classrooms at some high schools within TUSD. The order was received from the Arizona Department of Education as part of the ruling to end Mexican American Studies.