Tucson's Mexican-American Studies Ban

  • Aired:  04/02/12
  •  | Views: 482,331

Al Madrigal travels to Arizona, where the powerful evidence of hearsay convinced the Tucson school board to ban Mexican-American studies programs. (5:26)

( CHEERS AND APPLAUSE )

>> Jon: WELCOME BACK.

ONE SECOND.

YOUR CHILDREN'S EDUCATION.

NOTHING IS MORE IMPORTANT.

YOU WANT THEM TO LEARN ENOUGH TO DO WELL IN THE WORLD BUT NOT SO MUCH THAT THEY CAN WIN

ARGUMENTS WITH YOU.

WHAT ARE THEY REALLY LEARNING IN SCHOOL?

WE HAVE THIS EYE-OPENING STORY.

>> Reporter: ACROSS THE COUNTRY PUBLIC EDUCATION IS FAILING, BUT IN ARIZONA

LAWMAKERS HAVE FOUND THE SOLUTION TO THE BIGGEST PROBLEM FACING THEIR SCHOOLS.

>> ARIZONA'S GOVERNOR JAN BREWER JUST APPROVED A BILL BANNING ETHNIC STUDIES CLASSES

IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS.

>> Reporter: USING THIS NEW LAW THE TUCSON SCHOOL BOARD BANNED THE K-12 MEXICAN-AMERICAN

STUDIES PROGRAM.

SCHOOL BOARD MEMBER MICHAEL HICKS.

>> MY CONCERN WAS A LOT OF THE RADICAL IDEAS THAT THEY WERE TEACHING IN THESE CLASSES

TELLING THESE KIDS THAT THIS IS THEIR LAND.

THE WHITES TOOK IT OVER.

AND THE ONLY WAY TO GET OUT FROM THE... BENEATH THE GRINGO,

WHICH IS THE WHITE MAN, IS BY BLOODSHED.

>> WHEN YOU SAT IN ON THESE CLASSES....

>> I CHOSE NOT TO GO TO ANY OF THEIR CLASSES.

WHY EVEN GO?

WHY EVEN GO?

I BASE MY THOUGHTS ON THE HEARSAY FROM THE OTHERS.

>> Reporter: WITH POWERFUL EVIDENCE LIKE HEARSAY, THE TUCSON SCHOOL BOARD HAD LITTLE

CHOICE BUT TO END THE MEXICAN- AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM,

PROTECTING KIDS FROM DANGEROUS TEACHERS LIKE CURTIS ACCOSTA.

>> OUR STUDENTS ARE MUCH MORE LIKELY TO GRADUATE AND GO TO COLLEGE.

THEIR TEST SCORES HAVE IMPROVED.

MOST OF ALL, THEY'RE EXCITED ABOUT EDUCATION SO THEY CAN PURSUE IT IN THEIR FUTURE LIVES.

>> Reporter: YOU DO THAT BY TEACHING THEM TO HATE WHITE PEOPLE?

>> WE DON'T TEACH THEM TO HATE WHITE PEOPLE.

WHAT WE'RE TRYING TO DO IS PROVIDE A MORE COMPLEX VERSION OF WHAT HAS HAPPENED IN OUR

PAST SO THAT OUR STUDENTS ARE ENGAGED AND ASK THEMSELVES CRITICAL QUESTIONS AND BUILD

THEIR OWN UNDERSTANDING.

>> Reporter: CRITICAL THINKING,

MORE LIKE CRITICAL BRAIN WASHING.

AND IT GETS WORSE.

>> THEY WOULD, EVERY WEEK, GO OUT AND BUY DORITOS AND FEED THEM TO THESE KIDS.

>> Reporter: WHAT?

>> YES.

WHAT THAT DOES IS THAT BUILDS A... MORE OF A BOND BETWEEN THE TEACHER AND THE STUDENT.

>> Reporter: I'M LOYAL TO THIS GUY BECAUSE HE BOUGHT ME DORITOS.

>> RIGHT, RIGHT.

>> Reporter: YOU SLIP YOUR DORITOS TO KIDS.

>> WHY WOULD GIVING FOOD TO OUR YOUTH BE SOMETHING THAT IS FROWNED UPON.

>> Reporter: WHEN THE PROGRAM GOES AWAY, THE DORITOS GO AWAY.

WHY THESE KIDS ARE UPSET.

>> PRETTY OFFENSEIVE.

>> Reporter: AND NOW THAT THEY'VE ERADICATED MEXICAN- AMERICAN STUDIES FROM THE

SCHOOLS, THEY CAN FOCUS ON OTHER ETHNICITIES.

>> HONESTLY, THIS LAW WON'T BE APPLIED TO ANY OTHER OF OUR COURSES.

IT WAS STRICTLY WRITTEN FOR ONE COURSE WHICH IS THE MEXICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM.

NOBODY HAS COMPLAINED ABOUT ANY OF THE PAN-ASIAN OR OTHER COURSES THAT ARE BEING TAUGHT.

>> Reporter: WHAT ABOUT THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM?

>> THE AFRICAN-AMERICAN STUDIES PROGRAM IS STILL THERE.

IT'S NOT TEACHING THE RESENTMENT OF A GREATER CLASS OF PEOPLE.

>> Reporter: I'M A BLACK KID.

TRY TO TEACH ME ABOUT SLAVERY WITHOUT ME FEELING RESENTMENT TOWARDS WHITE PEOPLE.

>> HOW AM I GOING TO TEACH YOU ABOUT SLAVERY?

SLAVERY WAS....

>> Reporter: HOW DID I END UP HERE?

>> SLAVERY WAS A... OKAY.

THE WHITE MAN DID BRING OVER THE AFRICAN....

>> Reporter: WHAT KIND OF JOBS DID WE DO?

>> JOBS THAT YOU GUYS DID WAS BASICALLY SLAVERY JOBS.

>> Reporter: AFTER WE WERE FREED WE GOT TO VOTE.

>> YEAH.

WELL, YOU DIDN'T GET TO VOTE UNTIL LATER.

>> Reporter: AND WE WERE EQUAL?

>> ALMOST EQUAL.

>> Reporter: WHAT?

WE WERE LIKE SORT OF A HALF OR THREE-FIFTHS?

>> MY PERSONAL PERCEPTION OF IT, I WOULD SAY YOU WERE PROBABLY A QUARTER.

>> Reporter: THE MORE HE TAUGHT ME ABOUT BLACK HISTORY,

THE MORE I REALIZED ARIZONA HAS FIGURED OUT THE RIGHT WAY TO TEACH IT.

>> WE NOW HAVE A BLACK MAN AS A PRESIDENT, YOU KNOW, ROSE A CLARK DID NOT TAKE A GUN AND

GO ON TO A BUS AND HOLD UP EVERYBODY.

>> Reporter: SADLY THE PEACEFUL LESSONS OF ROSE A CLARK ARE LOST ON THE RADICAL

REACTIONARY TEACHING MEXICAN- AMERICAN STUDIES.

>> I THINK THIS IS A GREAT COUNTRY.

IN SOME COUNTRIES I MIGHT ACTUALLY BE LOCKED UP FOR TEACHING THE WAY I HAVE WHILE

IN THIS COUNTRY I'M JUST BANNED FROM DOING IT.

>> Reporter: VERY CLOSE TO GETTING LOCKED UP.

UNTIL THEN, ARIZONA'S CHILDREN CAN COUNT ON PROFESSIONAL EDUCATORS LIKE MICHAEL HICKS

TO PROTECT THEM.

DO YOU THINK IT WILL BE OKAY FOR THE SCHOOL DISTRICT TO HAVE A MEXICAN-AMERICAN

STUDIES PROGRAM WHEN THE DISTRICT IS 100% LATINO?

>> NO.

>> Reporter: BUT AT THAT POINT THERE WILL BE NO WHITE PEOPLE LEFT.

>> WELL, IF THERE'S NO MORE WHITE PEOPLE IN THE WORLD,

THEN, OKAY, THEN YOU CAN DO WHAT YOU WANT.

>> Reporter: OH, DON'T WORRY,

MR. HICKS, WE WILL.

WE WILL.

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