Sunday, January 22, 2012

ALA Midwinter Discussions of Tucson Ban of Mexican American Studies Covered by CNN

[Note: A chronological list of links to AICL's coverage of the shut-down of the Mexican American Studies Department at Tucson Unified School District is here. Information about the national Mexican American Studies Teach-in is here. The best source for daily updates out of Tucson is blogger David Abie Morales at Three Sonorans.]

Today (Sunday, January 22, 2012), one of CNN's bloggers covered the banning of the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson.  Stephanie Siek (the reporter) talked to Barbara Jones:

Barbara Jones, director of the American Library Association's Office of Intellectual Freedom, said the removal of the books was a big topic of discussion at the association’s 2012 midwinter meeting, which began last Thursday in Dallas. Groups including REFORMA, the Latino librarians' group, the American Indian Librarians' Association and the Intellectual Freedom Committee planned to respond and a coalition of civil liberties groups were researching possible legal action and expecting to release a statement this week, Jones said.

Regardless of the words the district used, Jones said, it's actions restricted access to books, which leads to censorship.

"We're gathering facts. Right now it looks like it's just the curriculum that’s affected and not school libraries," Jones said. "But we know from experience this will eventually affect books in the library."
Siek writes:
District leaders said they aren't banning the books, but have removed them from classrooms while their content is evaluated.
While their content is evaluated?! I thought the contents had already been evaluated and found to be guilty of "promoting resentment of a class of people"!

And yet, Siek writes, Stegeman (President of the TUSD governing board) said that the books might be brought back into the classroom after a review, and that the review might be completed by the end of the summer!

Isn't that contradictory? Did the books get reviewed or not? Is someone going to change his or her mind and decide that the content of the books does not "promote resentment of a class of people"???

For a video and more details, see How Tucson Schools Changed after Mexican American Studies Ban.

AICL Coverage of Arizona Law that resulted in shut down of Mexican American Studies Program and Banning of Books

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