How TUSD decides to close neighborhood schools and for Native kids on the rez

The Tucson Unified School District’s governing board heard pleas from dozens of parents, students and educators on why their school shouldn’t be on the proposal list for school closures and consolidations — made public for the first time on Monday evening.

The meeting started at 6 p.m. and ended around 11:30 p.m. Held at Catalina Magnet High School, about 300 people filled the large auditorium. The largest contingent of parents and students came from Hollinger and Pueblo Gardens schools, as well as a group from Ochoa. While Ochoa was not on the closure list as it has been in the past, a group of parents and activists from South Tucson who helped start a campaign this summer to prevent school closures, showed up to show their support.

Read what happens next at Tucson Weekly.

TUSD considers shutting down Wakefield Middle School!

Tucson News Now has learned that two more schools may be added to the list of schools targeted for closures by the Tucson Unified School District. They are Santa Rita High School and Wakefield Middle School.

The board will hold public hearings in December on these schools – Sewell, Corbett, Lyons, Schumaker, Fort Lowell, Carson Hohokam, and Howenstine.  Things got very emotional at the meeting last night.

Hollinger, Cragin, Brichta, Menlo Park, Manzo and Pueblo Gardens could still be on the chopping block.

via TUSD: 2 more schools added to list facing closure – Tucson News Now.

Chomsky on Israeli Gaza strikes; It is not war, it is murder

The following statement by Noam Chomsky indicates a different stand toward Israeli aggression than Prof. Chomsky has revealed in the past:

“The incursion and bombardment of Gaza is not about destroying Hamas. It is not about stopping rocket fire into Israel, it is not about achieving peace. The Israeli decision to rain death and destruction on Gaza, to use lethal weapons of the modern battlefield on a largely defenseless civilian population, is the final phase in a decades-long campaign to ethnically-cleanse Palestinians.

Israel uses sophisticated attack jets and naval vessels to bomb densely-crowded refugee camps, schools, apartment blocks, mosques, and slums to attack a population that has no air force, no air defense, no navy, no heavy weapons, no artillery units, no mechanized armor, no command in control, no army… and calls it a war. It is not a war, it is murder.

When Israelis in the occupied territories now claim that they have to defend themselves, they are defending themselves in the sense that any military occupier has to defend itself against the population they are crushing. You can’t defend yourself when you’re militarily occupying someone else’s land. That’s not defense. Call it what you like, it’s not defense.”


Sheriff Arpaio: Automatic weapons to hunt illegal aliens for every deputy

Newly re-elected Sheriff Joe Arpaio on Thursday pledged to put an automatic weapon in the hands of every Maricopa Country deputy because “[m]ore and more illegal aliens are attempting to escape.”

via Arpaio: ‘Illegal aliens’ escaping so all deputies will get ‘automatic weapons’ | The Raw Story.

I’m a white guy from Denver and my major is Ethnic Studies

I’m a white guy from Denver who transferred to Hunter College, in NYC, intending to major in Latin American and Caribbean Studies. In my second semester here, I changed my major to AFPRL—Africana, Puerto Rican, and Latino Studies. That decision has been met in many cases with, if not hostility, certainly skepticism. I usually encounter that skepticism (or sometimes just outright surprise) during the introduce-yourself segment of the first day of class. “Yes, my name is Ryan Morgan; I’m a junior here at Hunter; I’m taking this class because I’m really interested in the subject, and my major is AFPRL.”

Students and faculty don’t typically ask the question, but I see it on their faces—why would you be doing that? Often I get raised eyebrows and an “oh, really? Huh.” I find myself defending my choice to people I know inside and outside of school. Not because they attack it, but because they register such surprise. I’ve taken to responding to their doubts without being asked, because I think the answer to the question of why I would do this is important. And I’d like to explain it.

via Ethnic Studies and Me » Counterpunch