I was outside the courtroom doing my last minute blogging before the MAS trial began at 9am this Tuesday morning (phones have to be off inside). This young woman comes by and smiles at me and enters the courtroom. I thought she was a lawyer since she was dressed like one and there are 9 attorneys on the MAS side and I haven’t met them all.
When I entered the courtroom she was seated in the seat next to the one I reserved with my notebook. She introduces herself as Laureana and says that she was in one of Curtis Acosta’s final MAS classes before it was banned.
I tell her about my role as a blogger and what not, and then “all rise. The Honorable A. Wallace Tashima…”
Yesterday (Monday) ended with Huppenthal and today we were going to begin with John Huppenthal, the former State Superintendent who banned MAS in TUSD.
As Huppenthal spoke about all the horrible things that he believed took place in Acosta’s classroom, all while admitting that his staff never actually visited the classrooms, Laureana kept whispering to me, “that’s not true! That never happened in that classroom!”
Huppenthal believed that Acosta’s Latino Literature class was an indoctrination factory where students were taught to hate white people and the Founding Fathers.
(Article continued below)
There was a lot more that Huppenthal said that is the focus of another article coming out tonight.
After the trial ended at 5pm today, Laureana got a chance to talk to John Huppenthal in the video you can see below. Of course, I jumped in too after she was done and we talked all the way until we exited the building.
Laureana posted on Facebook:
I had a conversation with former Arizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal who pushed for the ban of ethnic studies classes offered at TUSD public schools. As angry as I was that he compared Mexican American Studies classes to Hitler and Nazi skinheads I mustered up the courage to speak to him. We had a polite conversation because I did not want to come off as aggressive I just wanted him to know how many students directly benefited from MAS classes and how the classes empowered students to go out and get an education. I think it’s tragic that the state banned these classes that taught and encouraged students all because the state thought the classes promoted “oppression.”
So now without further ado… an EXCLUSIVE video interview with John Huppenthal!
Also published on Medium.