TSON News | Day 3 of MAS Trial: John Huppenthal ends, Sean Arce begins – Judge clarifies that only white men’s thoughts about MAS matters?

Day 3 of MAS Trial: John Huppenthal ends, Sean Arce begins – Judge clarifies that only white men’s thoughts about MAS matters?

Day 3 included the ending of John Huppenthal’s examination, a couple of parents of the Plaintiffs that are students in TUSD, and the testimony of Sean Arce, the former MAS Director began.

Day 4 brings us Sean Arce in the morning followed by UA Professor Nolan Cabrera.

The state attorneys are really getting on everyone’s nerves. Not only are they very silly in their line of questioning, for example asking questions of parents if they are offending by Curtis Acosta rapping about the superintendent being a “wanksta,” to their CONSTANT objections to everything the Plaintiff attorneys ask.

Professor Anita Fernandez summarizes this frustration:

Later Sean Arce took the stand and Judge Tashima sustained a litany of objections by the state which resulted in no questioning on the following topics (even though the state brought these topics into question):
-No questions about curriculum
-No questions about MAS demographics
-No questions about indigenous epistemology
-No questions about Tom Horne’s open letter to end MAS
-No questions about TUSD board members and their stances on MAS
-No questions about whether MAS teachers taught students to view themselves as victims of oppression
-No questions about John Ward – who the state presented evidence from in the morning (John Ward was the teacher who sued Sean Arce & Jose Gonzalez).

Judge Tashima stated, in response to questions about Sean Arce’s teaching: I am not interested in his pedagogy. The only question we are here to answer is ‘what was the state of mind of the 2 superintendents when they wrote this law’.

The biggest thing we learned was that this whole trial comes down to the “state of mind” of Tom Horne and John Huppenthal. How successful the classes were is not of interest. This makes this all frustrating because once again, the focus, and all that matters, is what two white men think. Not the thousands of students that went through MAS…

One white mother sent me a message this week thanking us for our coverage of the trial and credited the classes for saving her daughter who admitted that she was going to commit suicide, but being in Curtis Acosta’s class changed her life.

This is the reality. Thousands of youth voices are silenced by the opinions of two white men who, as Huppenthal repeatedly said, “believed” something bad was going on.

When independent auditors went into the classroom to observe and noted nothing bad, he said that this was because people change their behavior when being observed. So in other words, MAS was guilty and despite all the evidence that showed it was innocent and successful, something was wrong.

All that matters is what Horne and Huppenthal THOUGHT, what was in their minds, and that’s all A. Wallace Tashima cares about.

Quite sad, actually.

Day 3 of MAS trial proved to be very frustrating. The state’s legal team continues to use samples of texts and emails, taken out of context, to paint the MAS program as “dangerous” and “indoctrinating”.

Questioning one of the plaintiff witnesses the state asked:


(Article continued below)

What if the Latino Lit class used a book written by a murderer, would you still want your son to enroll?

Do you know who Che Guevara is?

Are you aware a speech by Mr Guevara encouraging socialists to overthrow the US was used in these classes?

Later Sean Arce took the stand and Judge Tashima sustained a litany of objections by the state which resulted in no questioning on the following topics (even though the state brought these topics into question):
-No questions about curriculum
-No questions about MAS demographics
-No questions about indigenous epistemology
-No questions about Tom Horne’s open letter to end MAS
-No questions about TUSD board members and their stances on MAS
-No questions about whether MAS teachers taught students to view themselves as victims of oppression
-No questions about John Ward – who the state presented evidence from in the morning (John Ward was the teacher who sued Sean Arce & Jose Gonzalez).

Judge Tashima stated, in response to questions about Sean Arce’s teaching: I am not interested in his pedagogy. The only question we are here to answer is ‘what was the state of mind of the 2 superintendents when they wrote this law’.

Sean continues his testimony this morning then the state will cross examine him.

After Sean, Nolan Cabrera will be testifying.

In Lak’ech

Another day in court. This time we were treated to an eyeroll-inducing line of questioning from the state’s attorney, grilling a parent about whether they would want their child exposed to the work of a murderer (Live from Death Row… by a writer who maintains their innocence). I wonder if it bothers the state that children hear histories in public schools that make heroes of plenty of actual racists, slave owners, rapists, murderers, and colonizers.

Edit: What’s extra ridiculous is that the state/ex-superintendent Huppenthal keep going back and forth on whether, as Huppenthal repeatedly stated, ANY text is welcome in a classroom as long as it’s taught well. But that’s only when it’s convenient to their argument. Half the time one sentence from a text that may not have ever made it to the classroom is counted as evidence that MAS had a dangerous curriculum. I’m seriously getting whiplash with this ridiculous flip flopping.

-Gloria JH

MAS trial day 3!
Most colorful words and phrases in court so far:
Caca de vaca
Serengeti
Butt kissing wanksta
Marxists
Oppressor/oppressed
Paulo Freiré (mispronounced every time)
Socialists
Geritol, it just rhymes with Huppenthal


Also published on Medium.

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