• Petitioned Michael Hicks

This petition was delivered to:

Governing Board Member
Michael Hicks
Governing Board Member
Miguel Cuevas
Governing Board Member
Adelita S. Grijalva
John J. Pedicone
Governing Board President
Mark Stegeman
Asst. Superintendent
Lupita Cavazos-Garcia
Governing Board Clerk
Judy Burns

Save Ethnic Studies! Demand TUSD governing board vote ‘No’ on reducing Ethnic Studies to electives

    1. Petition by

      Desirae Silva

On April 26, 2011, the nation witnessed the defiant act of students in Tucson, Arizona standing up for the right to access their cultural history in education. Nine students, alumni, and supporters of Tucson Unified School District’s Ethnic Studies program chained themselves to the chairs of the TUSD governing board to prevent a vote from taking place that would have reduced the classes to second-class elective status.                        

TUSD has, unfortunately, let itself be bullied by the state of Arizona after the passing of the unconstitutional HB 2281 on May 11, 2010. Any district throughout the state that permits the teaching of Ethnic Studies will have 10% of their budget withheld each month. HB 2281 was signed into law only a few weeks after the signing of the controversial “Show me your papers” bill, SB 1070, which promotes racial profiling.

The Arizona legislature is acting with heavy sentiments of racism, xenophobia, and anti-migrant, anti-Latino rhetoric; this is why HB 2281 specifically targets TUSD’s highly successful Mexican American Studies Department, the nation’s only Ethnic Studies Department in a K-12 public school district. Data collected by the district throughout the years have shown the academic achievements of this program, such as a 97% graduation rate, a decreased dropout rate, 70% of students more likely to go on to higher education, and standardized testing results that greatly surpass the scores of students who do not take the classes.

On April 26, 2011, TUSD governing board president Dr. Mark Stegeman was scheduled to present a resolution that not only discredited the program with fallacies and blatant lies but also included a proposition to reduce the currently accredited core classes to elective status. This move would only be a slow and drawn-out way of killing the program. Students are required to take a high number of core requirements to graduate; they simply would not have the space left to fit two history or two literature classes in their academic schedules. It is also impossible to deny the hidden undertones of racism in this move when AP European History will still count as a core class meeting graduation requirements and Mexican-American History will not.

The only reason to dismantle this program is politics, not education.

Please join us to keep our Ethnic Studies as accredited core classes and tell the TUSD governing board to vote ‘No’ on Dr. Stegeman’s proposal to reduce the classes down to electives. The vote is rescheduled for this upcoming school board meeting on May 3, 2011.





Recent signatures


    1. Reached 5 signatures
    2. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      24-year-old swing voter on Tucson's school board won't share how he'll vote on the Ethnic Studies decision

    3. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      UNIDOS Youth Coalition denounces Tucson School Board's actions:

    4. Reached 4 signatures
    5. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      Glenn Beck uses the ethnic studies program as fodder for his TV show, and (surprise!) gets it all wrong:

    6. Reached 3 signatures
    7. Carol Scott
      Petition Organizer

      From local station KVOA: Arrests made at Tucson school board meeting, no decisions made on ethnic studies

    8. Reached 2 signatures
    9. Jackie  Mahendra
      Petition Organizer

      Please post to Facebook and help with a tweet: [ Via @changeImmigrant: Board mtg tonight! Join Tuscon students and fight to Save Ethnic Studies! #altoarizona ]

    10. Reached 1 signatures


    Reasons for signing

    • Barbara Fox TUCSON, AZ
      • about 3 years ago

      While everything done by the supporters of Ethnic Studies was not always well-considered, the efficacy of the program and the need for multiple contributions to American and World history to be acknowledged remain strong arguments for keeping it.

      History is not just black and white, it's all shades and styles, and teaching Hispanic children to be proud of the contributions made by those of their background can only strengthen them academically and as people.

      It isn't racism to tell someone yes, your people are and were part of the American dream.

      • over 3 years ago

      I'm from the UK, and it looks incredibly stupid from my point of view when cuts like this are implicated. After all, this maybe just a very low-level view of America, but aren't you all descended from different ethnic backgrounds? Why would something like this be cut?

      • over 3 years ago

      I'm proud of you for standing up for what you believe in. Education is key to our future and you are the leaders of tomorrow.

    • Ashley VanderHoek SEATTLE, WA
      • over 3 years ago

      While going through school here in the United States I learned the history of the white settler and Western European interaction with the "New World"... I knew nothing of another history, one that is shared by the people of this beautiful land. We need to move forward, not backward.... please don't raise the next generation with the same narrow view that you raised me.... the complexities of reality are so much better and help us really understand and move forward, together

      • over 3 years ago

      Look around: at no time have we needed ethnic studies more than now. It can only be good. I can't go wrong. And we need it in spades!


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