Posted on May 25, 2011

Tucson Superintendent Backs Down From Plan to Change Radical Curriculum

Jonathon M. Seidl, The Blaze, May 19, 2011

The Tucson Unified School District superintendent in the middle of a push to have a radical Mexican-American studies class changed to an elective, has now backed down from his position, even going as far as to issue an apology. The change follows two wild demonstrations at consecutive school board meetings, one in which students chained themselves to desks, and another in which the riot police were called in.

Superintendent John Pedicone told local station KOLD-TV that he sent a letter to UNIDOS–the radical student group opposing the change–and the Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board saying he has now advised the TUSD governing board to “table and not consider the resolution to make Mexican American Studies an elective.” (Quote is not Pedicone’s, but rather KOLD’s.)

Also contained in at least one of the letters is a promise that he won’t recommend charges against those who were arrested during the rowdy protests.

“We simply have to kind of bring that level of anxiety down to where we can begin to talk reasonably about this program, which we, which I think the district has said from the very beginning it supports,” Pedicone told KOLD. {snip}

In the letters, Pedicone told both groups that he is recommending the board refrain from voting on the plan until the State Department of Public Instruction rules whether the Mexican-American studies program is illegal.


He concludes the letter by asking the board to “please accept my apologies for my role in the situation.”

In his letter to the student group UNIDOS, he praises the students’ input as “valuable” and requests a meeting to establish “open dialogue.”

But as the Tucson Independent Daily points out, Pedicone’s sudden change-of-heart is curious, considering that just over two weeks ago he wrote an op-ed in the Arizona Star outraged over the protests and saying the students were being “exploited” and used as “pawns:”


[Editor’s Note: For more on this subject, click here.]