TUSD Students Fight for Mexican American Studies

Story By Alexandra Salazar (January 31, 2012 on Arizona Public Media)

Tucson Unified School District students have formed an organization to continue the fight for the disbanded Mexican American Studies program.

Students have formed a group they call UNIDOS, which stands for United Non-Discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies. In Spanish, unidos means “united.”

Group representative Mayra Feliciano says members feel a bias in the schools and the state against their learning of Mexican history and culture.

“We live in a state where there is a lot of history, Mexican history, and they are trying to do away with it like if its going to go away,” Feliciano says. “We’re not worth as much as a white student in the class where they could learn their history. We can’t learn our history or our culture.”

The TUSD school board eliminated the Mexican American Studies program at the beginning of this year after state officials found it violated a state law that bans teaching hatred of the United States and overthrow of the government. School officials, teachers and students denied that the program did so.

If the program had not been disbanded, TUSD faced the loss of 10 percent of its state funding, or about $14 million.

Click here to see the original article, including a video interview of UNIDOS members Mayra Feliciano and Danny Montoya 

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