Tom Horne Protested by Tucson Students Over Ethnic Studies Ban

Hundreds of demonstrators protested Arizona Schools Superintendent Tom Horne in Tucson today over his backing of Sand Land's new ethnic studies ban.

The new law forbids classes that teach "ethnic solidarity," promote the overthrow of the U.S. government, or "are designed primarily for pupils of a particular ethnic group."

Coming on the heels of Arizona's new "papers please" legislation, which is aimed at racial profiling Hispanics in the state, you can see why HB 2281 would tick a lot of people off.

And yet, here in Sand Land, anything perceived as anti-Mexican is good for a Republican's career. Horne is running for state AG, you see. And he faces the rabidly right-wing Andy Thomas in the primary.

Overthrowing the U.S. government's one thing. I think Horne would be hard pressed to find that anywhere in the state, unless the Tea Party's running a charter school somewhere. The rest of it seems awfully broad.


To be honest, my eyes tend to glaze over when it comes to what kids should or shouldn't be taught in school.

I know it's important. But, generally, if you have half a brain, you should start to educate yourself as soon as you're able by visiting these things called "libraries." But that may be wishful thinking on my part.

The Tucson Sentinel  is reporting that 15 students staged a sit-down strike in downtown Tucson over Horne's visit. Hey, good for them. They've got to learn at a young age that the "system" is by its very nature, deeply conservative. If you have any sort of political consciousness, you'll soon realize it's full of bunk.

Take Horne's press conference at the Department of Education office in Tucson today, where he stated that educators owe it to kids' parents to teach kids that "this is the land of opportunity," and that if the youngins work hard "they can achieve any of their dreams." Most of all, kids should not be "taught they're oppressed."

I've got some news for you, Tom. Hispanic kids in this state don't need to be "taught" they're oppressed.

They know, dude. They know. 

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Stephen is a former staff writer and columnist at Phoenix New Times.
Contact: Stephen Lemons