12 May 2010

They Just Won't Stop: Arizona Bans Ethnic Studies in Public Classrooms

Just weeks after their new immigration policy rocked the nation, the state of Arizona has unveiled another measure designed to silence and diminish ethnic communities.

On Tuesday, Governor Jan Brewer signed a bill that will ban the teaching of ethnic studies courses in public schools across the state. The legislation will particularly impact the Tucson Unified Public School district, which currently offers students access to “specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group.”

The measure, spearheaded by Arizona's superintendent of schools, Tom Horne, has already been condemned by six United Nations human rights experts, who note that, “All people have the right to learn about their own cultural and linguistic heritage.”

For a remarkable first-person account of what life in Arizona looks like these days, and how this newest measure fits into the state’s larger efforts to disenfranchise people of color, check out this blog post which comes to us via our grantee partner the National Network for Immigrant and Refugee Rights. NNIRR has been at the front lines of opposing this recent spate of legislation in Arizona; visit their website to learn more about how you can take action in this all-important fight for human rights and dignity.

See also: Supporting Arizona's Mothers and sign a petition calling on women in Congress to take action against Arizona's new immigration law.

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