A lawsuit has been filed by opponents of a new Arizona law aimed at eliminating the ethnic studies program at the Tucson Unified School District.
Teachers opposed to the crackdown banned together to file the suit Oct. 18. The suit claims the state law violates at least two constitutional amendments.
According to the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Tucson, outgoing state schools superintendent Tom Horne and the entire State Board of Education are named as defendants.
The lawsuit says Horne infringed on the First Amendment rights of the plaintiffs by “engaging in a consistent pattern of conduct that has chilled the use of text books, material, posters, content, and the name of the Mexican-American Studies Department.”
The lawsuit also says Horne has “no lawful non-discriminatory facts to support or establish that the Tucson Unified School District No. 1 Mexican-American Studies Departmetn has violated,” the law.
Horne has blasted the suit, saying it’s “fundamentally wrong to divide students up according to their racial group and teach them separately.”
Horne says he believes the Tucson school district’s Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people. He says public schools shouldn’t be encouraging students to resent a particular race.