Happy to report the good news that SMHS will offer a Mexican American Chican@ & Latin@ Studies class for the second semester of the 2012-13 school year - starting in January, 2013, as per the Principal, Mr. Joe Domingues. Thank you everyone for your support. We knew Principal Domingues sided with us we just needed to push him to have the courage to stand up to a few close-minded yet influential teachers. There were community members coordinating our efforts who were fighting for this same right over 30 years ago at Santa Maria High School. Thank you to everyone for helping us move our schools forward instead of back. In solidarity, PUEBLO, CE'ENI, LULAC, American GI Forum and Students of Santa Maria High School
Mr. Ricardo Valencia is ready to begin teaching a Mexican American/Chican@ & Latin@ Studies course at Santa Maria High School for next year but he is facing resistance!
Despite the fact many students have already registered for this class some SMHS staff members are attempting to block the class from being taught next year!
The staff members trying to prevent Mr.Valencia's class from happening next year claim that the Mexican American Studies course should not be allowed because it will “take away” students from other elective classes, as if students being excited about a class is a bad thing. Some teachers have even made subtle threats to Mr.Valencia, warning that he should wait until he gets his tenure and secures his job before he attempts to teach this course.
According to the Director of Accountability and Research of the Tuscon Unified School District, "there are positive measurable differences between Mexican American Studies students and the corresponding comparative group of students." Mexican American Studies students score higher on standardized reading, writing, and even math tests than their peers, are more likely to graduate from high school, [and] more likely to attend college.
The committee members trying to block this course from moving forward do NOT share the values of our community. The final decision is in the hands of Santa Maria High School Principal Joe Domingues by this Thursday May 24th!
We must stand up and tell Principal Domingues that no matter what a few staff members say, a campus that has over 2,000 Latino students and make up 85 percent of the entire student body, at the very least deserves one course that teaches our youth about the Latino community's contributions and struggles throughout history!