Mark Stegeman responds to Civil Rights investigation of TUSD ban of Cesar Chavez march

Case #08-12-1170 concerns claims that staff’s actions surrounding the Cesar Chavez Day march which was planned to start at Pueblo High School, but eventually moved, placed restrictions on this Latino event which exceed restrictions placed on non-Latino events.

In retrospect, it is interesting that several days before the march the board rejected (as reported in my April 18 letter) a staff-drafted policy which would have placed new restrictions on political activities at schools.

– Mark Stegeman

Mark Stegeman is the gift that keeps on giving whenever he speaks.

Rev. Jackson with Cesar Chavez on the 36th day of his fast.

This is what I find “interesting” in his response to a CIVIL RIGHTS INVESTIGATION, you know, like the ones you read about in the deep south during the 60s…

Stegeman admits that “the board rejected… policy which would have placed new restrictions on political activities at schools.”

Two things, both occurring in March 2012, and within about two weeks of each other:

  1. TUSD and Abel Morado allowed Sabino High School to have a “political activity” at their school on a weekday, a Republican debate of CD8 candidates, HOSTED BY JON JUSTICE, the right-wing anti-MAS pro-SB1070 radio show host!
  2. TUSD and Abel Morado ended the tradition of honoring a CIVIL RIGHTS HERO, on a weekend, a Saturday morning, by banning the start of a march in Cesar Chavez’s honor from Pueblo High School, which has been the starting point for the last decade.

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Keep in mind that in Pima County, Cesar Chavez has an official holiday:

D.    César Chavez Remembrance Day Leave

1.    Upon proclamation of the Board of Supervisors, the fourth Monday in March shall be designated as a day of remembrance in honor of Cesar Estrada Chavez, for his efforts in establishing the farm labor movement.
2.     Eligible employees, hired prior to the fourth Monday of March, shall be granted a day of administrative leave with pay.
a.    For those departments with normal working hours of Monday through Friday, 8:00 am to 5:00 pm, the administrative day may be granted either the fourth Monday in March or the Friday immediately preceding the fourth Monday in March.

Pima County Personnel Policies 8-107, Special Leaves of Absence with Pay.

In Pima County, Cesar Chavez has an official holiday, similar to Martin Luther King, Jr. having his special day of remembrance. Chavez is a historical and civil rights icon, and we all know what would happen if TUSD tried to ban anything dealing with MLK.

But this is Arizona 2012, and Chavez was a Mexican-American.

So how appropriate for the Office of Civil Rights to be investigating this violation, banning the celebration of a Civil Rights hero, in the name of labeling it a “political event”…

… especially since they just allowed an OBVIOUS political event, a Jon Justice-hosted political forum for Republicans at Sabino High School; you know, the richer whiter school in Tucson that is much different than the 95% minority school found just south of where Tucson’s two freeways merge.

So yes, Dr. Stegeman, it is indeed interesting that the Cesar Chavez march was banned in TUSD when there should have been no restrictions. That’s why you have the Civil Rights investigation taking place; well, one of the many reasons since more are coming after the DOJ’s visit to TUSD last week.

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