As the nation watches the Tucson Unified School District’s spiral into disarray, hundreds of students have walked out of their Tucson schools today in a coordinated protest against the banishment of the district’s acclaimed Mexican American Studies program.
Pouring into the downtown Tucson area from Pueblo, Cholla and Tucson high schools, among other institutions, the students brought their march to the offices of floundering Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) administrators. In recent days, administrators and board members have issued a series of conflicting and inaccurate statements and carried out the extreme actions of confiscating books in front of children. Last week, a recently hired assistant superintendent from Texas made a troubing call for the deeply rooted Tucson students–many of whom trace their ancestors to the town founders– to “go to Mexico” to study their history.
Supporters of the Ethnic Studies/Mexican American Studies program, which was terminated indefinitely on January 10th by the school board, launched walkouts last week and have vowed to step up their actions for a large-scale walkout, teach-in and launch of a “School of Ethnic Studies” on Tuesday, January 24th.