Arizona Republicans Banned Mexican American Studies. The Fight Is Now Back in Court. – Edwin Rios Jul. 2, 2017 6:00 AM


Did a 2010 law violate Latino students’ constitutional rights?

Protesters rally in support of Tuscon Unified School District in 2011 after Arizona state superintendent announces Mexican-American Studies program violates state law.Ross D. Franklin/AP

Seven years ago, Arizona Republicans passed a measure, HB 2281, that sought to limit ethnic studies programs in public schools.

Specifically, the bill set out to ban courses that “promote the overthrow of the United States government,” “promote resentment toward a race or 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.” Only one program in one school district qualified to be shut down: the Mexican American studies program in the Tucson Unified School District.

Since then, parents and students from the district have protested HB 2281. This week, attorneys on behalf of Tucson students argued in federal district court that the state violated Latino students’ constitutional rights—and that the law should be tossed out.

When did the Tucson program start?

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