Earlier today (January 19, 2012), Tucson Citizen uploaded a screen shot of a Facebook page that includes a remark made by Tucson Unified School District president, Mark Stegeman. Stegeman was asked about other "non-approved" books that have to be removed. He said:
This is the first example I know of, because external circumstances made this case urgent. But I suspect that TUSD is using many books which were never legally approved, in many different courses, and we have to track those books down and either remove them or go through proper curriculum approvals. Staff has already begun that search process.I read that and sat back a minute, stunned at the idea that (presumably) some unfortunate staff person in TUSD is going to (presumably) visit every classroom and every teacher, carrying a list of books the board has approved.
I'm guessing that the staff person is going to need a great big trailer to put those unapproved books onto!
What is the search strategy? Where did the search start? With English teachers? What grade level? What school did they start with? I sure wouldn't want to be that staff person.
And can you imagine being a teacher in the Tucson Unified School District, learning that someone was going to come into your classroom to see what you've got on your shelves?!
And can you imagine being a first grader with A Sick Day for Amos McGee on your lap when that staff person comes into the room? What will be said to that first grader? Will the child be able to finish reading it? Or will it be taken out of the classroom immediately, as was done with the books that were removed from the Mexican American Studies classrooms?
Stegeman is either very smart or very stupid. His words put the entire district at risk. When he finds a bunch of unapproved books in classrooms, what is he going to do? He can't, of course, shut down a first grade classroom, but I wonder if there are pull-out programs that offer classes for specific reasons. Will those programs be shut down? Could the enforcement of this "legally approved" policy work in favor of the Mexican American Studies program?
Here's my screen shot of the Tucson Citizen screen shot:
Hang on, teachers. It's going to be a rough semester in the Tucson Unified School District.
FOR A COMPREHENSIVE LIST OF AICL'S COVERAGE, CLICK ON:
AICL Coverage of Arizona Law that resulted in shut down of Mexican American Studies Program and Banning of Books