Tucson Teacher Exposes "Raza" Studies In TUSD


While getting ready for work this morning and listening to my morning talk, I noticed my commentator was reading a letter that had appeared in our local newspaper as a guest opinion. He was rather animated about it so I “tuned in” a little more to get the full story.

As anyone with a pulse in the past year or so knows, Tucson is ground zero for the illegal immigration battle. We not only fight it on the border, we fight it in our schools (which have decided to become sanctuary schools and have told the police, ICE and Border Patrol they aren’t allowed on school properties even in an emergency) through the “Ethnic Studies” programs.

We have long suspected what was taught with our tax dollars, whether we like it or not. Our suspicions were confirmed by this guest opinion. Much like Ben Stein’s movie “Expelled” (which shuts up and black lists those who disagree with the globull warming hysteria), the “Ethnic Studies” here are churning out kids who have no respect for authority and who buy the lie the American Southwest is actually Aztec land under the memories of Aztlan–of course with no historical reference to the fact the Aztecs forcibly invaded and controlled the lands themselves. Whites are interlopers.

The author of this guest opinion is a former teacher of these studies. However, he is a teacher with conscience and refused to teach this drivel as history. Below is his guest opinion as published by the Tucson Citizen May 21, 2008:

All emphasis mine.

Guest opinion: Raza studies gives rise to racial hostility

JOHN A. WARD

As a former teacher in Tucson Unified School District’s hotly debated ethnic studies department, I submit my perspective for the public’s consideration.

During the 2002-2003 school year, I taught a U.S. history course with a Mexican-American perspective. The course was part of the Raza/Chicano studies department.

Within one week of the course beginning, I was told that I was a “teacher of record,” meaning that I was expected only to assign grades. The Raza studies department staff would teach the class.

I was assigned to be a “teacher of record” because some members of the Raza studies staff lacked teaching certificates. It was a convenient way of circumventing the rules.

I stated that I expected to do more than assign grades. I expected to be involved in teaching the class. The department was less than enthusiastic but agreed.

Immediately it was clear that the class was not a U.S. history course, which the state of Arizona requires for graduation. The class was similar to a sociology course one expects to see at a university.

Where history was missing from the course, it was filled by controversial and biased curriculum.

The basic theme of the curriculum was that Mexican-Americans were and continue to be victims of a racist American society driven by the interests of middle and upper-class whites.

In this narrative, whites are able to maintain their influence only if minorities are held down. Thus, social, political and economic events in America must be understood through this lens.

This biased and sole paradigm justified teaching that our community police officers are an extension of the white power structure and that they are the strongmen used “to keep minorities in their ghettos.”

It justified telling the class that there are fewer Mexican-Americans in Tucson Magnet High School’s advanced placement courses because their “white teachers” do not believe they are capable and do not want them to get ahead.

It justified teaching that the Southwestern United States was taken from Mexicans because of the insatiable greed of the Yankee who acquired his values from the corrupted ethos of Western civilization.

It was taught that the Southwest is “Atzlan,” the ancient homeland of the Aztecs, and still rightfully belongs to their descendants – to all people of indigenous Mexican heritage.

As an educator, I refused to be complicit in a curriculum that engendered racial hostility, irresponsibly demeaned America’s civil institutions, undermined our public servants, discounted any virtues in Western civilization and taught disdain for American sovereignty.

When I raised these concerns, I was told that I was a “racist,” despite being Hispanic. Acknowledging my heritage, the Raza studies staff also informed me that I was a vendido, the Spanish term for “sellout.”

The culmination of my challenge to the department’s curriculum was my removal from that particular class. The Raza studies department and its district-level allies pressured the Tucson High administration to silence my concerns through reassignment to another class during that one period.

The Raza studies department used the “racist” card, which is probably the most worn-out and desperate maneuver used to silence competing perspectives.

It is fundamentally anti-intellectual because it immediately stops debate by threatening to destroy the reputation of those who would provide counter arguments.

Unfortunately, I am not the only one to have been intimidated by the Raza studies department in this way.

The diplomatic and flattering language that the department and its proponents use to describe the Raza studies program is an attempt to avoid public scrutiny. When necessary, the department invokes terms such as “witch hunt” and “McCarthyism” to diminish the validity of whatever public scrutiny it does get.

The proponents of this program may conceal its reality to the public. But as a former teacher in the program, I am witness to its ugly underbelly.

Arizona taxpayers should ask themselves whether they should pay for the messages engendered in these classrooms with their hard-earned tax dollars.

The Raza studies department has powerful allies in TUSD, on its governing board and in the U.S. House of Representatives (sidenote: one of the board members is Adelita Grijalva, daughter of US Congressman Raul Grijalva who got his start on the Tucson Unified School District board himself and was the initiator of these studies) and thus operates with much impunity.

Occasionally there are minor irritations from the state superintendent of public instruction and the Legislature.

Ultimately, Arizona taxpayers own TUSD and have the right to change it. The change will have to come from replacing the board if its members refuse to make the Raza studies department respect the public trust.

John A. Ward is a former teacher at Tucson High Magnet School.

Now, quite some time ago I wrote about a protest at another TUSD school, Catalina High Magnet School, wherein an illegal was suspected to have drugs on campus, it was found he was illegal, ICE removed him and his brother from a junior high and deported the family. Read about that here, here and here.

Ladies and gentleman, this is not an issue exclusive to Tucson. Check into your own school district’s curriculums. We have four schools on the chopping block due to budget deficits. The school district wants to close schools and continue to teach this hate rather than give up these special interest studies, cut their pork (Adelita’s learning well from her father, isn’t she?) and teach a proper curriculum. Your school district may be doing the same thing.

The writer makes an excellent point. Ultimately, the school districts are owned by the taxpayers. The legal residents who pay the taxes, not the illegal alien front groups who wish to continue educating illegals at your expense. Therefore, it is up to the taxpayers, the legal citizens, to do something (and NO I am NOT advocating violence) about this. The easiest thing to do is VOTE THEM OUT and put in supervisors who will teach instead of preach.

What are YOU going to do about your own school district? Contact information for TUSD can be found here, on the 104.1 The Truth morning show blog. Make your voice, your opinion and your vote heard.

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