SUMMARY OF THE ARGUMENT
The First Amendment protects the rights of students to access and receive information in the classroom. These rights ensure that America’s youths are exposed to the diversity of ideas necessary to ensure an educated citizenry who can effectively participate in our democracy. Arizona Revised Statute § 15-112 threatens these rights. For partisan and political reasons, the statute was aimed at and launched to dismantle Tucson’s MAS program. Moreover, the statute is so broad that Arizona teachers and school districts must skirt a wide swath of protected instruction and material to avoid the possibility of serious penalties. Thus, the statute will chill a substantial amount of instruction that is beyond the purported purpose of the statute.
This banning of books and courses from the classroom – both by direct application and by chilling effect – violates the First Amendment rights of students.
Huppenthal Hispanic Book-banning Update
Earlier this year, another book by a Latina author Dreaming in Cuban was banned in Southern Arizona with the support of John Huppenthal, even though the book is part of the Common Core Curriculum, which has also met with strong TEA Party resistance.
Common Core, for those less familiar, is an initiative to align school curriculums across the country with the principles of standards-based education reform. Its curriculum was developed by the National Governors Association and the Council of Chief State School Officers.
Conservatives in Cochise County have rejected Common Core as another federal takeover, this time of education. The fury of opposition was so strong in the St. David area that State School Superintendent John Huppenthal visited the community in June and warned that parents shouldn’t let Common Core cause “chaos in the classroom.”
Common Core has actually been state-driven and each state has the option to adopt the standards, which were developed by state leaders and local-level experts. The federal government did not develop the curriculum and has not mandated its implementation.
Huppenthal also pledged to fight for local control of the Common Core curriculum, noting that Arizona was one of just six states which modified the standards to meet state education criteria.
- via The Sierra Vista Herald.
Too bad John Huppenthal doesn’t believe in “local control” when it comes to helping Latinos, but only when Latinos are being banned.