UNIDOS and COMMUNITY TO HOST OVERNIGHT VIGIL FOR ETHNIC STUDIES

UNIDOS and COMMUNITY TO HOST OVERNIGHT VIGIL FOR ETHNIC STUDIES
Media contact: Elisa Meza (520)-991-2320

WHAT: An overnight vigil from Tuesday June 14 – Wednesday June 15.
WHO: UNIDOS (United Non-discriminatory Individuals Demanding Our Studies) and Tucson community.
WHERE: 1010 E. 10th Street, TUSD Headquarters, Tucson, AZ
WHEN: Tuesday June 14, Wednesday June 15, 2011, 6:30p.m.

Tucson, AZ — On Wednesday June 15th, State Superintendent John Huppenthal is scheduled to release his findings on whether or not TUSD’s Ethnic Studies Program is out of compliance of H.B 2281. As rhetorically vague as H.B. 2281 has always been, so is Huppenthal’s criteria of compliance.

At the same time that Huppenthal has been conducting his private audit of our classes, TUSD’s Superintendent, John Pedicone, has failed to clearly articulate if or how he would protect our classes.

TUSD will be holding a school board meeting on Tuesday evening and we will be there as supporters of Ethnic Studies and equitable, relevant education, past sundown. The urgency of the release of Huppenthal’s findings on Wednesday needs to be TUSD’s focus. As the state threatens the district with a $15 million cut all across the board, TUSD must defy the bullying tactics of the state and preserve and uphold our classes.

Our Demands

* We demand a public statement, from Superintendent John Pedicone, defying Huppenthal if he decides to change or eliminate our Ethnic Studies program.
* We ask for an immediate end to hostility directed against our MAS Staff (program director and teachers). No staff should be fired from their positions.
* We ask that TUSD sue the state for attempting to enforce a law that violates our human right to access our culture and history.
* We demand Pedicone publicly recommend to the TUSD board to fully support the program by creating a resolution challenging Huppenthal’s decision.
* No changes against the program should take place as there is a teacher’s lawsuit pending in the courts.

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