Superintendent Rami Muth
We have been keeping our readers informed with regard to North California Schools Showing Ugly Discriminatory Pattern: Denise Elsken’s No A/C Idea Is Likened to Superintendent Joe Jaconette Denying Free Lunch to Brown Little Girl.
To date, we still have not received an apology from Martinez Unified School District (MUSD) Superintendent Rami Muth and we believe that demonstrates weak leadership on her part — particularly when Joe Jaconette apologized for his behavior for hiring an investigator to chase a little brown girl and denying her the free lunch school program. More importantly, we noticed Muth did not take calls from the community and was missing in action during the middle of the controversy.
We now see Ms. Muth wasting time and resources on pricey law firms such as Dannis Woliver & Kelley Law Office, rather than putting those monetary resources towards giving brown kids air conditioning. Our coalition exercised our right to make a simple Freedom Of Information Act (FOIA) Records request to no immediate avail – just more delay and bureaucracy when we made “when we made a request for all e-mails to and from for Denise Elsken from January 1, 2012 through present, and all emails to and from John L. Fuller, President from January 1, 2012 through present. MUSD should know time is of the essence, as we are entering the hot season, and we have documented complaints from the children at La Junta school (a school that is not in an affluent area) that continue to be ignored.
Apologies made by school board member(s) were not heartfelt. We have made FOIA request before and similar state organizations have complied with us in a timely fashion when we make FOIA requests with them. Muth’s delay only angers those involved in the situation, and any reasonable person with computer savvy understands understands how easy it is to obtain emails. We hope the Martinez Unified School District does not scrub their email written correspondence history.
Finally, since Superintendent Rami Muth and MUSD are delaying our simple FOIA request, we have no alternative but to tell parents of La Junta to make complaints to Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA). We urge La Junta Parents to make a confidential complaint to OSHA forthwith and they can be reached at: 1-800-321-OSHA (6742).
It is our mission to ensure our Chicano and Latino children get the same quality of education affluent schools receive, and we are hell bent to this regard. Perhaps these northern California schools think we are just a bunch of stupid Mexicans — but we can assure them that we are not and this is not our first rodeo with regard to confronting bigotry head on. Continued delays will only further our righteous anger.
The majority of the Hispanic / Latino population pie in the United States are those of Mexican descent. Mexican American Chicanos for the most part heavily populate the southwestern part of our Nation. Now that Florida’s Cuban American Senator via Sen. Marco Rubio is running for President, we believe it is time to remember the facts and bring up history in an effort to remind ourselves how weak his leadership skills really are.
Chicano Sin No. 1: Senator Marco Rubio supported Arizona’s “papers please” law that would have directly affected brown-skinned Chicanos and Latinos here in Arizona with regard to SB 1070. He has not recanted his support for SB 1070.
Chicano Sin No.2: His support for immigration reform via the Gang of 8 until he reversed his position and backed out.
Chicano Sin No.3: Senator Marco Rubio did not take a stand against the RNC’s anti-immigrant policy adopted in 2012 that was essentially written and blessed by Kris Kobach. If Rubio cannot express strong leadership skills within his own Party as a “Hispanic” — how can we trust he is able to run this Nation of ours?
Rubio’s main Latino constituency in Florida are of Cuban descent, therefore we believe he doesn’t understand, feel or hear the outcry experienced by Mexicans (living in the southwest) and other Latin groups who do not receive the privilege of automatic citizenship given to Puerto Ricans, or the immigration amnesty given to Cuban immigrants. Currently under the unique Cuban amnesty program, Cuban immigrants can receive at least one year of government entitlements once their foot touches American soil without first contributing to our tax paying system. Republicans have long forgotten that the GOP has indeed supported immigration amnesty for years under the Cuban Adjustment Act (CAA) while damning Mexicans, and other Latin immigrants who do not receive Cuban amnesty.
According to a CNN Op-ed by Raul Reyes:
Back in 2013, Rubio was a member of the Senate “Gang of 8″ that crafted a bipartisan proposal for comprehensive reform, including a path to citizenship for the nation’s estimated 11 million undocumented immigrants. He later distanced himself from the bill after it ran into resistance from House Republicans, and now says he favors a piecemeal approach, starting with securing the border.
His retreat on immigration means that Rubio has missed an opportunity to set himself apart from most of the presumptive Republican presidential candidates. That’s a shame, for this issue was supposed to be his calling card to Latino voters.
Instead, Rubio has embraced a typical conservative approach to immigration. He believes that President Obama’s Deferred Action program, offering deportation relief to young immigrants, should be ended. He has stated that the President’s executive action on immigration, on hold pending a circuit court review, sets a “horrifying precedent.”
Meanwhile, both the Deferred Action program and President Obama’s executive action on immigration are overwhelmingly favored by Hispanics. No wonder the research firm Latino Decisions reports that, “We find no evidence that Rubio’s candidacy will draw significant Latino support for his candidacy or for his party more generally.” So, if Rubio is counting on his ethnicity and personal history as the son of immigrants to win over fellow Hispanics, he is mistaken.
I’ll agree with Reyes’ opinion and will add to it. Within the last decade the Republican Party has transformed since 2000 when they used to fight to keep Elian Gonzales as Latinos galvanized themselves in Florida. On the other hand, we have witnessed the GOP using Marco Rubio as a Trojan Horse today as a tool to deport the “Mexican equivalents” to Elian Gonzales, and this will only serve to galvanize Latinos in the entire southwest against Republicans during the 2016 election cycle.
Chicanos are drawing attention to Denise Elsken — a heartless woman out of the Martinez School District that should NOT be a school board member. In fact, we are going to demand she resign forthwith for her derogatory and offensive views towards brown kids vs. her views for the affluent. Essentially Elsken believes La Junta children (high Chicano/Latino population school) shouldn’t have air conditioning but believes a school in an affluent area should be deserving of new air conditioning. I implore my reader to sign this petition (signatures already at 857) and call or email the Superintendent of the Martinez School District . See contact information below. In addition to Elsken’s resignation, we believe the superintendent of the Martinez School District via Rami Muth should apologize for Elsken’s derogatory views that are clearly unjust. The entire Martinez School District should understand and realize that the Chicano/Latino economic contributions are significant. We are a force to be reckoned with considering the U.S. Hispanic market is one of the top 10 economies in the world. We were happy to see Superintendent Joe Jaconnette apologize for their behavior and now it’s time to see Rami display leadership in the Martinez School District. Furthermore, we will be following up with La Junta School parents to see whether or not the Martinez School District opted for planting trees versus giving the school with a high Chicano / Latin children population new air conditioning.
This is not the first time we have seen this sort of behavior in a northern California school district with regard to what school board members/leaders will do in order to create an unjust climate. For instance, the Orinda Union School District Superintendent Joe Jaconette was in hot water in light of his utter disregard for the concern and safety of a 7 year old little girl. According to the Mercury News: “Days before kicking a second grader out of the district for living outside its boundaries, the Orinda Union School District twice denied the Latina girl access to its free lunch program while recognizing that she lived in the city.” The absolute worst part of this story involves the mother of this precious seven year old little girl where her mother was hiding their address in light of filing a domestic violence restraining order against her ex.
That said, now we see Orinda’s Neighboring School District chiming in. This time school board member Denise Elsken Of Martinez School states:
“I would say 95% of the students at La Juntas do not have air conditioning in their homes. So whether that means those students are more acclimated and can handle a little more heat than the John Swett students — which I would say 95% of their residences have air conditioning in their homes.”
According to CBS San Francisco:
Denise Elsken supports putting A/C at the more affluent John Swett Elementary. But when it comes to lower-income Las Juntas, Elsken said $2 million would be better spent on education and teachers. She said “cool roofs” and shade trees at Las Juntas would keep students cool.
We implore our reader to call Rami Muth and demand an apology for Denise Elsken’s derogatory views that have no place in the school board system.
California activist and radio show host via Mark Lane states:
This woman is not fit to be on a school board making decisions for children. She publicly displays her racism and lack of common sense. Her statement is rude, it is dehumanizing and it is patently unfair. Denise Elsken is unfit for the position she is in and should be removed from her position on the school board.
Executive Assistant to the Superintendent
Martinez Unified School District getting dismal star rating grades — 2 out of 5.
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter Sunday (on which the Crucifixion of Jesus Christ is commemorated in the Christian Church) and it is traditionally a day of fasting and penance for Christians. However, the Apostolic Church seems to continue to turn a blind eye to one of their own pastoral leaders within their religion via Arizona Rep. Steve Montenegro. In light of this Holy Week, perhaps members of the Apostolic Church can do what Jesus did when He exposed the hypocrisy occurring in the Temple.
According to Matthew 21:12 -
Jesus Cleanses the Temple
12And Jesus entered the temple and drove out all those who were buying and selling in the temple, and overturned the tables of the money changers and the seats of those who were selling doves. 13And He said to them, “It is written, ‘MY HOUSE SHALL BE CALLED A HOUSE OF PRAYER’; but you are making it a ROBBERS’ DEN.”…
On January 25, 2015, we thoroughly informed Steve Montenegro’s church members how he has been friends with while siding with Sheriff Joe Arpaio, Russell Pearce and other tea party extremists with regard to their support of anti-immigrant legislation [see video here].We also told his congregation how Montenegro (from El Salvador) was a primary sponsor in doing away with #Chicano Studies. Every time Montenegro allows himself to be a vessel for anti-immigrant hatred, we will protest him every single time and every step of the way. The neighbors who live in houses surrounding the church told us they knew something was “not right” with Montenegro and they were glad we were informing his members but also the neighborhood. There was a church a block away where their members were outside looking an hearing to see what we were doing. Stephen Soto went to that church and informed them. We did what we needed to do and now we let God work in the hearts of the people surrounding the Church. We did not know how prominent the Montenegro family was within the Surprise Apostolic Church until that day and we will continue to do our best to send shockwaves throughout the entire Apostolic Church community. It’s imperative to us that Montenegro understand we will not be idle no more. We will take a stand against his hypocrisy.
Our Good Friday Promise: Protest the Apostolic Church Southwest Regional Training ,October 14-17, 2015, to be held in Tempe, AZ to further expose the El Salvadorian wolf in “Latino” sheep’s clothing.
Make no mistake… we are not done with Montenegro who claims to be a representative of the Apostolic Church. Chicanos and Chicanas will not allow tea party Republicans to use “minority tokens” without us exposing their dastardly deeds. Another minority token the Arizona Republican Party used to fulfill their agenda is Representative Carlyle Begay who is a member of the Navajo (Dine’) community. What kind of deal did Begay work out with the Arizona Tea Party Republicans that helped his people while throwing our Mexican American Chicano people under the bus?
Enquiring minds wanna know.
Protest at Surprise Apostolic Church Rep. Steve Montenegro pastors. Photo Credit: Gail Mokry Shoultes.
The message is clear for Steve Montenegro: “STOP SUPPORTING ANTI-IMMIGRANT LAWS and STOP BEING A VESSEL FOR THE REPUBLICAN PARTY PARTICULARLY WHEN THE REPUBLICAN NATIONAL COMMITTEE ADOPTED AN ANTI-IMMIGRANT PLATFORM IN 2012.
With writing, timing is everything. Being in the right place at the right time.
– John Ridley
Above: Benito Martinez — photo credit American Crime.
This powerful sneak peek trailer for a new television drama American Crime was heart wrenching for me to see. American Crime will be premiering this upcoming THURSDAY MARCH 5 10|9c on ABC.
3 things came across my thoughts while watching the impassioned performance from both Johnny Ortiz and Benito Martinez in the trailer:
1) I put myself in the shoes of the parent (Benito Martinez) whose kid was being detained for the allegation of murder. The young man (Johnny Ortiz) was complaining about his father being overbearing — but the patriarch made no apologies for his strict parenting.
2) As the authorities were separating the child from his father in light of the allegation, I thought of the immigrants who were and are separated from relatives because of a clearly broken immigration system the Republicans have stalled and refused to fix. The broken immigration system criminalizes hard working immigrant fathers and mothers who were forced to be torn apart from their children until the Obama administration used his executive powers to give some relief to these families.
3) Lastly, I thought about a friend of mine – Joaquin, who was falsely accused of a crime. My childhood friend had not yet even met the “victim” who was living in another state during the time of the allegation. I watched Joaquin’s mom and dad go through a living personal hell and watched them stand by the side of their only son.
In this American Crime Podcast hosted by film critic and radio personality Elvis Mitchell, you get to hear a 30 minute interview of the show creator John Ridley and Executive Producer Michael McDonald who discuss the series. American Crime centers around the brutal attack of a young couple in Modesto, California. Matt Skokie, a war vet, is murdered, and his wife, Gwen, is left unconscious, barely hanging on. The crime sends shock waves throughout the community stirring up tensions across socioeconomic and racial lines in this gritty new drama — from the points of view of all those involved. “It’s not about the police. It’s not about the prosecutors. It’s really about the family,” creator John Ridley says.
Essentially Ridley stated this drama was about familia and how a 3 a.m. phone call in the middle of the night can happen to anyone.
The sneak peek managed to capture a patriarch caring father chastising his son who was being detained — yet while they were taking his son away to jail after being charged for murder, you saw the hard ass of a dad turn into a very different emotional state. No matter what, the dad was going to be there for his boy to ensure he received a fair trial. You could see it in Benito’s eyes and his acting was moving.
Through the lens of a Chicana, I believe American Crime will captivate the tough love we see in ourselves an what we would do for the protection of our kids, family or friends. Often times in our culture, I see tough love displayed through discipline and/or the sheer defense of those we love in order for them to survive. Kids are our livelihood and many of us know we would die for our children no matter what.
Joseph JT Campos (playing Bruno the immigrant border jumper in the American Crime series) is an actor who made me aware of this new television drama and I’m glad he did because the sneak peak is powerfully irresistible.
I encourage my readers to watch American Crime this upcoming Thursday on ABC.
Photo Credit: Homebound Movie (Above) Enrique Castillo. An accomplished actor/writer/director, Enrique began his career with Luis Valdez’s Teatro Campesino in 1969. As part of the Teatro, Enrique participated in workshops with English theater director Peter Brook’s theater group which included now Academy Award winner Helen Mirren. In the early 70′s Enrique traveled with the Teatro to Paris when they represented the U.S. at the World Theater Festival. In 1978 Enrique made the move to Hollywood and was cast in the hit play “Zoot Suit”, also created and directed by Luis Valdez, where he played the lead role of Henry Reyna opposite Edward James Olmos.
HOLLYWOOD COMES TO PHOENIX AREA!
Award Winning Indie Film “Homebound” screens in Glendale AZ for one night only.
Phoenix, AZ — We are excited to bring “Hollywood into Arizona” for a special one night only theatre screening of Homebound. We are excited to announce movie actor Enrique Castillo’s presence at the screening in Glendale, Arizona, this upcoming Thursday. This could not be possible without the financial support of the Chicano Radio Network and Frank Mills Miranda who contributed a significant amount of money in order for us to secure the theatre screen at the Westgate AMC Theatre in Glendale, Arizona.
Chicanos, Mexican-Americans, and Latinos in Arizona have endured laws and minor setbacks with anti-immigrant legislation, eliminating Chicano Ethnic Studies from educational programs and more. These moves were designed to make our community feel bad about our culture, however, because art imitates life, our community continues to overcome these small setbacks by promoting art and film in the entertainment industry that instills a strong sense of Chicano or Latin pride on the big screen. Homebound is a heart warming movie about immigrant(s) and American born citizens of Mexican descent that depicts us in a positive light.
We want to give special thanks to Bel Hernandez (Latin Heat Entertainment), Michael Reyes (La Paz Restaurant owner), Adam Sandoval, Marie Escobar and George Diaz for helping us promote this special event.
From the Film Director of Homebound, Fanny Veliz:
Los Angeles, CA – Jan 15th, 2015 – Writer/Director and actress Fanny Véliz raised production funds to shoot her first feature film, Homebound, through the increasingly popular internet crowd funding method. Now that the film is complete she is turning to the community once again with a unique concept. “ Bring my film to your town.” Says Véliz. The goal is to show to Hollywood that there’s a hungry audience out there ready for a film like HOMEBOUND.
It is about empowering the community to empower filmmakers to tell the Latino stories Hollywood chooses to neglect. To do this the filmmaker has decided to use the web platform TUGG.com. TUGG is a crowd sourcing platform that gives people the ability to bring the movies to their local movie theater without any up-front-costs. The screenings can even be used as fundraisers.
“I’m committed to helping transform the image of Latinos in the media by telling stories that aren’t usually told,” says Veliz. “We are all used to seeing stories of gangs, maids, and other stereotypes, this film shows another side of the American Latino. Homebound is an American story, a human story told with an American Latino cast. The recent Academy Award nominations is proof that there’s a lot of work to be done when it comes to inclusion of minorities in film”
9 screenings of the film have already taken place in New York, El Paso, San Antonio, Chicago, Fresno, Austin, Atlanta, Los Angeles, and Laredo.
Dee Dee Garcia Blase a known community activist saw this film as an opportunity to support the Latino community and decided to host a screening of the film in the Phoenix area. The screening will take place January 29th at the AMC Westgate 20 (9400 West Hanna Drive, Glendale, AZ, US, 85308 Tickets are $12.00 General) Tickets can be purchased: https://www.tugg.com/events/12691
Enrique Castillo, known for playing Montana in the film Blood in Blood out as well as many other roles will be in attendance as well as the filmmaker Fanny Veliz. Enrique Castillo was nominated for a SAG Award for his stand-out role in Showtime’s wicked series “Weeds” where he plays the lethal Cesar. He guest starred on the CBS hit show “NCIS” and “Outlaw” opposite Jimmy Smits; and on the HBO series “Enlightened”. Most recently starred in the in the film “Kill The Dictator” which broke box office records in the Dominican Republic. His in a gut wrenching performance in Fanny Veliz’s indie film “Homebound” has earned critical acclaim. He recent guest starred in TNT “Major Crimes” in June of 2014.
Enrique is most recognized for his film role of Montana in Taylor Hackford “Blood In Blood Out” where he played the inspirational (albeit terrifying) leader of the Mexican prison gang. When the film was released, The New York Times singled out Mr. Castillos’s performance in their review.
Homebound tells the story of Richard Lynn, a successful young Latino business professional who returns to his small hometown in Texas to help his dying father. His father insists he take over the family business, a bar. Secretly, the young man wants to burn down the bar because he blames it for the death of his own mother and the illness of his father. In the process he rediscovers his childhood’s small town and falls truly in love for the first time.
The film features a cast of seasoned actors which includes Enrique Castillo, whose work in such films as El Norte, Mi Familia and the cult classic Blood In Blood Out have made him a fan favorite among Latino audiences and his role in Showtime’s Weeds has made him a hit among mainstream audiences. Texan born Julia Vera, who has built a career as a character actress in film and television for over twenty years is not only an actress in Homebound, she is also invested in the film as an associate producer. Richard Lynn is played by a dynamic young actor, Jeremiah Ocañas, who not only plays the lead, he is also a native El Campo, Texas, where the film was shot. El Campo served not only as the prime location, but its citizens helped facilitate permits, meals, lodging, a source of talent pool for minor roles and the extras, and even a helicopter needed for the shoot. Fanny Véliz, in addition to her producing, writing, and directing duties also plays the female lead in the film.
Community is at the centerpiece of this undertaking. It takes a community, and Véliz is hoping to once again enlist community and embrace the film through the “ TUGG Community Screenings” concept, and help them raise awareness of the film. For more information on the film Homebound go to www.homeboundthemovie.com
Arizona Rep. Steve Montenegro Protest
"!!Ay de los que dictan leyes injustas, y prescriben tiranía!" -- Isaías 10:1
Phoenix, AZ -- We will be protesting Tea Party Republican Steve Montenegro this Sunday (for siding with anti-immigrant Republicans) tomorrow morning at his own Church. The goal is to inform Montenegro's own church congregation of his hypocrisy because we believe he preaches one thing to immigrant members of his congregation while doing another at the Arizona state capitol. We were successful with informing the Mormon community of (now ousted) Sen. Russell Pearce's Mormon hypocrisy when we protested Pearce at his Mesa Mormon Church. We educated Mormon leaders in Mesa via a Fireside. We were also successful in getting Sheriff Joe Arpaio's attention when we protested him at the Fountain Hills Catholic Church when he an his wife avoided going to church because they were too embarrassed. As such, it is now time for Montenegro's congregation to know about his immigrant hypocrisy. The goal is to raise awareness to those living in his district with an effort to ensure Montenegro will not get re-elected in 2016. We believe Montenegro cannot serve two masters as he preaches one "high moral" thing but does another at the Arizona state capitol.
"Steve Montenegro is a person everyone in Tucson should know, because he is the main force behind a bill that was just passed that was targeted directed at TUSD. That bill is HB 2281 and Steve Montenegro was the primary sponsor of that horrible bill. Montenegro is also vilified for being a main stooge for Russell Pearce’s SB 1070, and has gone on national TV to defend that bill (video below) that has given Arizona such a negative name in the last two months."
It is time to revive the Chicano Movement as we show El Salvadorian-American Rep. Montenegro why our community will no longer be complacent with his hyporcisy.
According to the Associated Press, "Arizona became the first state in the nation on Thursday to enact a law requiring high school students to pass the U.S. Immigration citizenship test on civics before graduation."
Both the House and the Senate rushed the bill without first addressing:
. How much will it cost schools in order to implement the INS test? Senator Abelser cited concerns with failed previous legislation implemented with regard to AIMS testing
and how he sees a similar pattern with regard to the INS test. He also expressed concerns with rushing SB 1029 without first answering cost-related questions to Arizona taxpayers from a fiscally responsible standpoint. Ableser also reminded Arizona lawmakers how the former superintendent of Arizona public education via Lisa Keegan
helped enact AIMS
only for the measure to end in 2014
replacing it with another tougher academics test that could cost Arizona tax payers an additional 9 million to implement new testing
. Senator Katie Hobbs addressed concerns regarding Arizona schools who are already experiencing a budget crisis and the shortage of computer resources already in some schools today in order for the INS test to be conducted online. How will Republican Senators be fiscally responsible with addressing the current school budget crisis and computer shortages of some schools considering we have a looming $1 billion shortfall
Governor Jan Brewer left Arizonan taxpayers with?
CONCERNS. This is yet another Arizona Immigration-related Bill that adds more bureaucracy and large government ideas now being introduced into Arizona education. SB 1070 was mostly struck down
by the Supreme Court that cost Arizona taxpayers. Currently a challenge of Ethnic Chicano studies not being taught in Arizona schools is tied up in the 9th Circuit Court of Appealsth Circuit Court of Appeals
because Arizona Republicans simply cannot leave the immigration issue alone and to the feds
. Arizona Senator Steve Farley pointed out the hypocrisy of some Arizona Republicans who were against President Obama's “common core” in education, yet, some of these very Republicans are okay with larger government ideas that uses “federal” Immigration and Naturalization Service
) testing standards that essentially introduces more bureaucracy just because it is immigration related.
Additionally, our women-led organization was disappointed in President Senator Biggs for not publicly addressing Tea Party Senator John Kavanaugh in public for violating legislative rules when Kavanaugh inappropriately addressed female Arizona lawmaker Senator Catherine Miranda by name during the SB 1029 session. We hope this does not indicate how future legislative sessions will be conducted. Kavanaugh is a seasoned public servant in Arizona state legislature and he should know the rules with regard to the professional legislative decorum required by everyone else.
Below is the list of Arizona Senators who voted in support of tying public education to an immigration test:
Senators Biggs, Allen, Barto, Begay, Burges, Dial, Driggs, Farnesworth, Griffin, Kavanaugh, Lesko McGuire, Pierce, Shooter, Smith, Ward, Worsely, Yarbrough, and Yee.
Arizona Senators who did not support the immigration federal testing tied to high school are:
Senators Ableser, Bradley, Carjero Bedford, Contreras, Dalessandro, Farley, Hobbs, Mora, Miranda, and Quezada (with
Senator Pancranzi a no-vote).
Finally, it appears the new Republican Governor Doug Ducey is following the footsteps of Governor Jan Brewer with regard to eagerly signing another Arizona bill tied to immigration via INS testing. This bill was rushed through Arizona legislation and it is the first bill Ducey will sign. Cost and budget concerns were not addressed and Arizona taxpayers will foot the bill without knowing the collateral damage of a bill that has been fast-tracked putting us at risk of potentially fighting another State bill that could end up in the 9th Circuit court of appeals if challenged.
Meanwhile in San Francisco at the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals ...
From AZ Central:
TUCSON — A federal appeals court on Monday will take up the case against a ban on ethnic studies in Arizona.
The 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco will hear arguments in the case that has received renewed attention after a school district in Tucson was accused by state officials of violating the ban.
A lower court has upheld the Arizona law that prohibits courses if they promote resentment toward a race or a class of people, are designed primarily for people of a particular ethnic group or advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of people as individuals.
The ban was approved in 2010 and adopted by the Tucson Unified School District two years later because it risked losing funding. The district eliminated its Mexican-American studies program, angering teachers and students who said it improved student achievement. They went on to sue the state, saying the law was overly broad and violated free speech rights.
But the federal court found courses "designed primarily for peoples of a particular ethnic group" to be unconstitutionally vague and upheld the other standards under which Tucson's program was eliminated.
TUSD is now at risk of losing about $14.2 million in annual funding over what state officials say are violations of the ban.
Former Arizona Superintendent John Huppenthal used his last hours in office to issue a report accusing the TUSD of being in violation. He cited an introductory course on hip-hop from the African-American perspective and lyrics from the rock band Rage Against the Machine as violations.
New Superintendent Diane Douglas said she agrees that TUSD is in violation but says the problem is not with the ethnic studies curriculum but with the way it is taught.
Douglas said it's a misunderstanding that the Arizona Department of Education is opposed to ethnic studies.
District Superintendent H.T. Sanchez said the curriculum follows a 2013 federal racial desegregation order requiring culturally relevant courses. He said the courses are being taught at three high schools, but they will be expanded to seven next school year.
In Retaliation For Obama’s Free College Program, Arizona Legislators Want To Pass Additional Bureaucratic Methods Within Education That Could Mean Less High School Diplomas
Phoenix, AZ -- Republicans want to vote and introduce a bill during their first week of session that ties Arizona education to a test equivalent to INS standards
. The additional education impediment appears to be improper because it uses irrelevant methodology in relation to immigrants.
If there is no compelling state interest, one can show with empirical data that it has a desperate impact on immigrants, which would meet the constitutional strict scrutiny test and be challenged it in court if it passes. See Brown v. Board of Ed. and Hernandez v. Texas, 347 U.S. 475 (1954) [finding national origin discrimination against Mexican-Americans in grand jury selection impermissible].