Maya Arce is only a sophomore at Tucson High Magnet School, but she has already been the victim of Arizona racism multiple times while at TUSD.
Maya is not only being denied the opportunity to take Mexican American Studies classes since the program her father founded and directed was banned and he was fired from the district after over a decade successfully teaching Latino students, Maya had to deal with local racism during the HT Sanchez era this year after her Spanish 7-8 class was banned by the THMS principal for having too many Mexicans in it according to one Spanish teacher there, even though French 7-8 continues to be offered at a high school that is over 70% Latino. Racial conflicts such as this were expected after John Pedicone appointed a principal who was not bilingual to lead Tucson’s largest high school.
Not only is Arce bilingual and an expert mariachi singer who has already earned college credit and has presented at national conferences, she is also fighting back against the state of Arizona for their racist ban of classes that teach her history and literature in Tucson.
Maya is joined by Korina Lopez, who is being denied the opportunity to take MAS courses right now, and Nico Dominguez who was part of the last cohort of MAS students and who was present in the classroom when TUSD censorship monitors made their teacher box up their books, leaving the bookshelves empty and the students’ eyes filled with tears. The myth is that America wants to educate Latinos and that we want them to read, but once they do and defy our expectations, we become afraid of their knowledge and must pass state laws to keep them dumb and ready for private prisons instead of college.
Enough is enough.
The youth are our future and are leading the way, fighting against bigots who want to ban their attainment of knowledge.
Below is the filing in the second highest court in the land, the same court that has already stopped many provisions of SB1070 from moving forward in Arizona. Now they will take up the issue of HB2281.