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TONY DIAZ ATTEMPTING TO PUT HIS MILITANT, RACIST TEXTBOOK INTO TEXAS PUBLIC SCHOOLS

Sep 17, 2017 by

“Tony Diaz Attempting To Put His Militant, Racist Textbook Into Texas Public Schools”

By Donna Garner

9.17.17  

 

COMMENTS FROM DONNA GARNER:  It is very disturbing to me that the Texas State Board of Education is considering the adoption of a Mexican-American Studies (MAS) book written by Tony Diaz. His past record in Arizona is very clear; he deliberately broke Arizona law (HB 2281) which is a law akin to many of Texas’ patriotic laws.  

 

When Tony Diaz could no longer prevail in Arizona because of his militant activities there, he came to Texas and became the Director of Intercultural Initiatives at Lone Star College near Houston.  Now Diaz is trying to put his Mexican-American Studies book on the desks of students in the Texas public schools. 

 

I stated my concerns over this issue back in 4.2.14, and I stand by those same remarks. A Mexican-American studies course is highly discriminatory to other language groups, races, and ethnicities; and such courses end up dividing the student body rather than uniting all students together as patriotic Americans:  4.2.14 —  http://www.educationviews.org/tony-diaz-pushing-mexican-american-studies-texas/

 

Because of Tony Diaz’s past record, I do not believe that the Texas State Board of Education should entrust him with the minds of our Texas public school students.

 

The final vote on Tony Diaz’s textbook (entitled “The Mexican American Studies Toolkit”) will be taken at the Nov. 7-10, 2017, SBOE Board meeting. This gives the public time to contact their SBOE members and to express their strong misgivings about allowing Tony Diaz access to our Texas public school classrooms.  

 

Link to contact information for Texas State Board of Education members:  http://tea.texas.gov/About_TEA/Leadership/State_Board_of_Education/Board_Members/SBOE_Members/

 

To see the numerous references (already being taught in Texas’ Social Studies classes – Grades K-12) to Mexican/Hispanic/Latino history and role models, please go to this link.  These TEKS (Texas’ curriculum standards) were implemented in 2011-12: http://ritter.tea.state.tx.us/rules/tac/chapter113/index.html

 

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INFORMATION ON TONY DIAZ

 

6.17.17 – Remezcla.com

 

“Fight Over Mexican-American Studies Ban Is Back, So Is Arizona’s Beloved Banned Book Smuggler, Tony Diaz”

 

By Yara Simon

 

http://remezcla.com/culture/mexican-american-studies-back-in-court/

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

The fate of Mexican-American studies in the state of Arizona once again rests in the hands of the judicial system. Back in 2010, the legislature banned the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American Studies program through House Bill 2281, according to the Tucson Weekly. [Please see excerpts from the 6.14.17 Tucson Weekly as posted later in this article.]  

 

[Arizona] HB 2281 [https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2281s.pdf]  makes it illegal to teach classes that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or class of people,” “are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group,” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils.” The bill’s legality has faced challenges since then. [At the bottom of this page, please see excerpts of the relevant wording from HB 2281.]

 

Now the case is headed back to court starting on June 26, and once again Tony Díaz – a fierce defender of Mexican-American Studies – is gearing up to promote the importance of ethnic studies, but he needs your help to make it possible.

In response to the trial, Díaz is relaunching the Librotraficante Caravan. In 2012, when officials went into classrooms and confiscated books, TUSD students documented it all on social media. Their struggle to keep ethnic studies in their school caught the attention of Díaz and other librotraficantes – that is, members of the nonprofit literary organization Nuestra Palabra: Latino Writers Having Their Say.

 

Díaz, Liana López, Bryan Parras, Laura Acosta, and Lupe Méndez organized the 2012 Librotraficante Caravan, smuggling the banned books back into Arizona. Realizing that it could just be a matter of time until more states banned ethnic studies books – especially given that other states had adopted Arizona’s anti-immigration law (SB 1070) – they also set up underground libraries across the southwest.

 

The 2017 caravan will follow the same blueprint. As Diaz and a group of ethnic studies proponents travel from Houston to Tucson, they will also restock their underground libraries.

“At the most practical level, we want to raise awareness about the trial against Arizona’s banning of Mexican-American studies,” Díaz told Remezcla. “We will also study the tactics and strategies used by Arizona to suppress Mexican-American studies. And we must make people aware that if this law is upheld, [the] ban [could be used] to prohibit not just Mexican-American studies, but also African-American, Asian-American studies and women’s studies in every state.”

In 1968, San Francisco State University students known as the Third World Liberation Front began striking in an effort to push their university to initiate an ethnic studies program. The Third World Liberation Front succeeded, with ethnic studies eventually spreading across the country. But even with all the gains achieved in the last five decades, it continues to face an uphill battle. Lawmakers in Arizona and Texas, for example, have outright banned the studies because some believe they promote reverse racism and welcome leftist ideology in schools.

Yet, a Stanford University study [http://www.nber.org/papers/w21865released in 2016 found that ethnic studies benefit students. They miss fewer days at school, they get better grades, and even graduate at higher rates. This is especially true for Latino and male students.

 

The ethnic studies advocate [Tony Diaz] recently wrote and submitted The Mexican American Studies Toolkit to the Texas State Board of Education. As the board considers whether to adopt the text in Texas high schools, Díaz will hand out previews of the textbook.

 

However, to accomplish these goals, Díaz needs the public’s support. At the moment, Díaz has found a crew of 10 who are willing to make the 1,000-mile trip, but they need to reach their target $8,000 goal. After other donations and a generous discount by Autobuses Flores, Díaz is about $3,000 away. The caravan kicks off on June 21 at the Casa Ramirez Folk Art Galley in Houston. You can donate to this very important campaign here [ http://www.librotraficante.com/ ].

 

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6.14.17 – Tucson Weekly

 

https://www.tucsonweekly.com/TheRange/archives/2017/06/14/trial-over-tusds-mexican-american-studies-to-begin-in-tucson-june-26

 

“Trial Over TUSD’s Mexican American Studies to Begin in Tucson June 26”

Posted by David Safier

 

Excerpts from this article:

 

It’s been five years since TUSD’s Mexican American Studies program was dismantled by order of Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal. The lawsuit challenging Huppenthal’s order and the statute he based it on is coming to trial in Tucson’s DeConcini U.S. Courthouse…


If the lawyers defending Mexican American Studies win in whole or in part, the statute created to make MAS illegal could be thrown out, or the statute could remain but Huppenthal’s decision that MAS was in violation of the law would be voided.

TUSD’s Mexican American Studies program began in 1998 and continued without a great deal of public fanfare until 2006 when labor leader and civil rights activist Dolores Huerta gave a speech to the Tucson High student body. Her speech contained three words, “Republicans hate Latinos” which set off a firestorm of outrage among Republican politicians and commentators in Arizona and around the country.

 

Among those who picked up the anti-MAS banner was Superintendent of Public Instruction Tom Horne, who turned the steps of the TUSD administration building into his home away from home, making regular visits to condemn the program. In 2010, the legislature passed HB 2281, a bill whose apparent purpose was to make MAS illegal. Horne’s successor to the Superintendent position, John Huppenthal, decided MAS violated the newly created statute and had to be dismantled or $14 million a year would be withheld from TUSD’s state funding. In 2012, the board voted to accept his decision, and the Mexican American Studies program ceased to exist.

A lawsuit was filed challenging the constitutionality of the statute and legality of Huppenthal’s decision. 
U.S. Circuit Court Judge Wallace Tashima found the statute to be mostly constitutional. The lawyers working on the suit appealed to the Ninth Circuit Court which decided that portions of the statute could be considered unconstitutional and the lawsuit had to be brought to trial in Judge Tashima’s courtroom.

 

[Please remember that the Ninth Circuit Court is the most liberal court in the land and has had its decisions overturned 80% of the time. Undoubtedly if the Ninth Circuit Court rules against HB 2281, it will be appealed to a higher court. — Donna Garner]

…The trial will revolve around two issues concerning HB 2281 (now ARS 15-112) and Huppenthal’s decision that TUSD’s MAS program was in violation the statute. First, do they violate the equal protection clause with respect to Mexican American students? Second, do they violate the first amendment rights of those who were involved in the program?

 

If Judge Tashima rules that the statute itself violates either of the two issues, it will be thrown out.

 

If Tashima rules only that Huppenthal’s enforcement of the law was in violation of either issue, Huppenthal’s decision which led to the dismantling of MAS will be voided.

 

With either decision, TUSD could decide to reinstate the MAS program in whole or in part, and other Arizona school districts could create similar programs.

 

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1.7.11 – New York Times

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/08/us/08ethnic.html

 

“Rift in Arizona as Latino Class Is Found Illegal”

By MARC LACEYJAN. 7, 2011

 

TUCSON — The class began with a Mayan-inspired chant and a vigorous round of coordinated hand clapping. The classroom walls featured protest signs, including one that said “United Together in La Lucha!” — the struggle. Although open to any student at Tucson High Magnet School, nearly all of those attending Curtis Acosta’s Latino literature class on a recent morning were Mexican-American.

For all of that and more, Mr. Acosta’s class and others in the Tucson Unified School District’s Mexican-American program have been declared illegal by the State of Arizona — even while similar programs for black, Asian and American Indian students have been left untouched.

“It’s propagandizing and brainwashing that’s going on there,” Tom Horne, Arizona’s newly elected attorney general, said this week as he officially declared the program in violation of a state law that went into effect on Jan. 1.

…It was Mr. Horne, as the state’s superintendent of public instruction, who wrote a law aimed at challenging Tucson’s ethnic-studies program. The Legislature passed the measure last spring, and Gov. Jan Brewer signed it into law in May amid the fierce protests raging over the state’s immigration crackdown.

For the state, the issue is not so much “The Tempest” as some of the other texts used in the classes, among them, “The Pedagogy of the Oppressed” and “Occupied America,” which Mr. Horne said inappropriately teach Latino youths that they are being mistreated.

Teaching methods in the classes are sometimes unconventional, with instructors scrutinizing hip-hop lyrics and sprinkling their lessons with Spanish words.

The state, which includes some Mexican-American studies in its official curriculum, sees the classes as less about educating students than creating future activists.

At a recent news conference, Mr. Horne took pains to describe his attack on Tucson’s Mexican-American studies program as one rooted in good faith. He said he had been studying Spanish for several years and had learned enough to read Mexican history books in Spanish and to give interviews on Univision and Telemundo, two Spanish-language broadcasters.

…Mr. Horne’s battle with Tucson over ethnic studies dates to 2007, when Dolores Huerta, co-founder of the United Farm Workers, told high school students there in a speech that Republicans hated Latinos. Mr. Horne, a Republican, sent a top aide, Margaret Garcia Dugan, to the school to present a different perspective. He was infuriated when some students turned their backs and raised their fists in the air.

The Arizona law warns school districts that they stand to lose 10 percent of their state education funds if their ethnic-studies programs are found not to comply with new state standards. Programs that promote the overthrow of the United States government are explicitly banned, and that includes the suggestion that portions of the Southwest that were once part of Mexico should be returned to that country.

Also prohibited is any promotion of resentment toward a race. Programs that are primarily for one race or that advocate ethnic solidarity instead of individuality are also outlawed.

On Monday, his final day as the state’s top education official, Mr. Horne declared that Tucson’s Mexican-American program violated all four provisions. The law gives the district 60 days to comply, although Mr. Horne offered only one remedy: the dissolution of the program.

He said the district’s other ethnic-studies programs, unlike the Mexican-American program, had not received complaints and could continue.

John Huppenthal, a former state senator who took over as Arizona’s schools chief, said he supported Mr. Horne’s 11th-hour ruling. Mr. Huppenthal sat in on one of the Tucson classes taught by Mr. Acosta, and said that Benjamin Franklin was vilified as a racist and a photo of Che Guevara was hanging on the wall. Besides that, he said, Tucson’s test scores are among the lowest in the state, indicating that the district needs to focus on the fundamentals.

To buttress his critique of the Tucson program, Mr. Horne read from texts used in various classes, which in one instance referred to white people as “gringos” and described privilege as being related to the color of a person’s skin, hair and eyes. He also cited the testimony of five teachers who described the program as giving a skewed view of history and promoting racial discord.

“On the first day of school, they are no different than students in any other classes,” said John Ward, who briefly taught a Latino history class in Tucson. “But once they get told day after day that they are being victimized, they become angry and resentful…”

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9.12.17 – “Texas State Board of Education Considers Another Mexican-American Studies Textbook” – Texas Tribunehttps://www.texastribune.org/2017/09/12/texas-state-board-education-mexican-american-studies-text/

 

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https://www.azleg.gov/legtext/49leg/2r/bills/hb2281s.pdf

 

 

ARIZONA HB 2281 – EFFECTIVE AFTER DEC. 31, 2010

 

Relating to school curriculum:

 

15-111. Declaration of policy 5

 

THE LEGISLATURE FINDS AND DECLARES THAT PUBLIC SCHOOL PUPILS SHOULD BE TAUGHT TO TREAT AND VALUE EACH OTHER AS INDIVIDUALS AND NOT BE TAUGHT TO  RESENT OR HATE OTHER RACES OR CLASSES OF PEOPLE.

 

8 15-112. Prohibited courses and classes.

 

A SCHOOL DISTRICT OR CHARTER SCHOOL IN THIS STATE SHALL NOT INCLUDE IN ITS PROGRAM OF INSTRUCTION ANY COURSES OR CLASSES THAT INCLUDE ANY OF THE FOLLOWING:

 

PROMOTE THE OVERTHROW OF THE UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT.

PROMOTE RESENTMENT TOWARD A RACE OR CLASS OF PEOPLE.

ARE DESIGNED PRIMARILY FOR PUPILS OF A PARTICULAR ETHNIC GROUP.

ADVOCATE ETHNIC SOLIDARITY INSTEAD OF THE TREATMENT OF PUPILS AS INDIVIDUALS.

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