Thursday, October 4, 2012

October 4 - Precious Knowledge

Earlier this year, the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) board voted to end its Mexican American Studies (MAS) program in order to comply with the Arizona law that bars ethnic studies programs designed to "overthrow the United States government"; promote "resentment toward a race of class of people"; are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group” or “advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.” The District was threatened with a loss of up to $15 million if found in violation of the law. As a consequence dozens of books were removed from the curriculum, and the classrooms (in at least one case while students were still there) and boxed up to be put into storage.

The film Precious Knowledge is a documentary film which relates the events leading up to the passage of HB 2281. The ignorance demonstrated by the legislators in this film is so huge as to be embarrassing. When invited to attend some of the Mexican American Studies classes, all but one refused, insisting that the teachers and students would stage a different kind of class than usual on the day they attended; and that even a surprise visit was meaningless because the instructors can "change their pedagogy just like that [finger snap]" when someone uninvited walks into the room. Based on these ridiculous assertions, the program was banned, despite the fact that students who took MAS classes were more likely to graduate.

Today, the U.S. Ethnic Studies Program of Bridgewater State University will host a viewing of the documentary. Some of the books that were removed from TUSD classrooms will be on display during the screening in the Rondileau Campus Center at One Park Ave at 12:30.

While TUSD Administrators claimed that no books were "banned"  when they were removed from classrooms this chilling photo tells another story. See the story from the Huffington Post

View the Precious Knowledge Trailer

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