Arizona Bill, If Signed Would Limit Ethnic Studies
Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has, on her desk, a bill that would limit ethnic studies programs in Arizona schools. Tom Horne (pictured), Arizona’s Superintendent of Public Instruction, claims the bill targets classes that promote “ethnic chauvinism.”
The measure targets an ethnic studies program from a Tucson school district. It would prohibit classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.
The Tucson Unified School District program allows students to take history and literature courses that include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group. District officials believe it would comply with the new bill.
But Republican Horne is running for attorney general, and likely believes limiting these classes can help his political ambitions.
Horne said he believes the district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said.
“A fundamental American value is that we’re all individuals, and what race we were born into is not relevant,” Horne said.
Another Republican, freshman Rep. Steve Montenegro, who is from El Salvador, sponsored this bill, and Brewer has not indicated whether she’ll sign it. Students, says Montenegro, “should not be taught any resentment or hatred toward any race or any class of people.”
“They shouldn’t be taught they’re oppressed, they shouldn’t be taught that they are subservient in any way,” he said. “We’re not trying to prevent the teaching of history. We’re trying to prevent the promotion of victimology.”
But Rep. Anna Tovar, a Democrat from Tolleson and a former teacher who opposed the bill, said it’s important to expose young people to alternative ideas.
“Learning about different cultures and lessons, it really enhances a person’s mentality and gives them some context that is relay sorely missing right now,”Click here for reuse options!
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