Tucson’s Ethnic-Studies Program Violates Arizona Law, Judge Rules

Stephen Ceasar, Los Angeles Times, December 27, 2011

Tucson’s Mexican American studies program violates state law, an Arizona administrative law judge ruled Tuesday, paving the way for the program’s possible demise.

Judge Lewis D. Kowal affirmed a prior decision by the state’s schools chief that the Tucson Unified School District’s program violates a new law prohibiting divisive ethnic-studies classes.

John Huppenthal, the state superintendent of public instruction, had deemed the program in violation in June. Among other things, the law bans classes primarily designed for a particular ethnic group or that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people.”

The school district appealed Huppenthal’s ruling, and testimony before the administrative law judge concluded in October.

Kowal’s decision is merely a recommendation to Huppenthal, who can take action against the program if it does not come into compliance with the law. Any such action is likely to be challenged in court.

{snip}

The program’s opponents–led by Huppenthal, a veteran state senator elected superintendent of public instruction last year–say that by framing historical events in racial terms, the teachers promote groupthink and victimhood.

A pending case in federal court contends the state law is unconstitutional. Eleven teachers and two students have requested an injunction to halt its implementation.

A federal judge in Tucson heard arguments on the injunction last month but will soon rule on Huppenthal’s motion to dismiss the case. If he does dismiss it, the request for an injunction would be moot.

{snip}

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  • Hirsch

    The state court has decided ethnic studies are divisive, but we all know how this will turn out in a Federal Court. Holder and the federal DOJ have already laid the smack down on Arizona for enforcing one law. Does anyone really think they’ll start bucking the trend here?

  • Rob

    The sole purpose of these types of classes is to instill “resentment” in the hopes this resentment can be harnessed and exploited for political reasons by Mexican supremacists.

  • Anonymous

    I think that we should have our own ethnic studies. How about these beautiful Celtic songs the beautiful Gaelic language and sung by some beautiful Celts, for starters. Everybody knows of the Celtic prowess as word-smiths and poets. Bring some Celtic beauty into your lives.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fE2FQ6gC8bc&feature=related

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wflylF_eIm4&feature=related

  • Anonymous

    On the other hand, how is it possible to ban a university class that might “promote resentment” without censoring virtually the entirety of human history?

    Whatever the subject and however it may be taught, *somebody* is going to feel offended by the material and, given the dismal state of political correctness in our college system these days, thereby conclude that the class deserves to be banned lest some group or another feel put upon.

    Whatever else may be said of this instance, I cannot say that I approve of the precedent of expunging a portion of a university’s curriculum based upon the notion of avoiding resentment and offense.

    A slippery slope indeed.

  • sofita

    “The state court has decided ethnic studies are divisive, but we all know how this will turn out in a Federal Court. Holder and the federal DOJ have already laid the smack down on Arizona for enforcing one law. Does anyone really think they’ll start bucking the trend here?”

    Unlike immigration, education is a state responsibility, not a federal one. Therefore, Holder will have nothing to say about this law. There is no preemption of federal authority because it is not a federal responsibility. The only way the federal government could sue to invalidate this law is if it is inconsistent with some federal statute or the U.S. Constitution. I don’t know of any federal statute or constitutional provision that would conflict with this state law. If applied to private schools, there may be a conflict with the First Amendment, but this is a public school district.

    The final word on this issue will likely come from the state supreme court, unless Holder or a private plaintiff comes up with some “novel” legal theory to get it into federal court. The issues before the state supreme court, if it goes that far, will be whether the program does in fact violate the state law against divisive ethnic studies, and whether the state law violates some provision of the state constitution. I cannot imagine what that would be. (I’m a lawyer, though not a specialist in this area.)

    This is very good news, whatever the outcome. People need to get used to seeing whites advocate for themselves. I wonder how we would go about getting laws like this passed in other states?

  • Anonymous

    “Among other things, the law bans classes primarily designed for a particular ethnic group or that “promote resentment toward a race or class of people”.

    Won’t Arizona have to shut down all the classrooms? Except for math. Actually, they may have to shut down math classes too in the state to enforce this law. How about a real investigation Eric Holder? Lets get to the bottom of these class room agendas that promote resentment towards a race or class of people. Other wise known as hatred.

  • Anonymous

    “The program’s opponents—led by Huppenthal, a veteran state senator elected superintendent of public instruction last year—say that by framing historical events in racial terms, the teachers promote groupthink and victimhood.”

    This will be Liberal’s downfall. Unable to see this from there loved minorities. Those same minorities when they become a majority won’t come out of groupthink and victimhood.

    You reap what you sow.

    But then again such outcomes leads to a right wing backlash.

  • Anonymous

    Well on one hand it is good that they are ruling against this particular ethnic studies program that teaches the kids to hate Whitey, but ending the class will not end the attitude. I suspect the kids were told that “the man” took their class away. On the other hand this was done in a way to try to prevent Whites from designing our own ethnic studies programs on their model.

    I have been working on one that combines reading, music, and math with European cultural history.

  • Question Diversity

    Fine as far as it goes on the surface, but does anyone expect that the full removal of this pedagogic material will mean that the Chicano students of the Tucson school district will suddenly stop having contempt for “gringo?” That comes naturally to them, no matter what textbooks they read (provided they can read).

  • AngloMan

    The purpose of the program was hate whitey, not cultural enrichment for the chicanos, so cant allow with public money.

    That the chicanos hate whitey is no big deal; whitey is waiting his day will come.

    The browns latinos et al and blacks mulattoes et al live in a

    paradise created by whites. Woe to them that think it lives without

    the white man ruling. All else is Sudan.