When my professor mentioned this in my Public Library class this morning, I thought it was a joke. I had him repeat it because I was looking at the phrase “eliminating Latino studies” on my computer screen and I just knew it couldn’t be correct. I promptly googled it and it is indeed true. The Arizona State Senate passed H.B. 2281, which
prohibits public schools from including courses or classes, which promote the overthrow of the U.S. government or resentment towards a race or class of people, and specifies rules pertaining to pupil disciplinary proceedings are not to be based on race, color, religion, sex, national origin or ancestry.
Stipulates nothing in this section is to be construed to restrict or prohibit any of the following:
a) Courses or classes for Native American pupils as required for compliance with federal law;
b) Grouping of pupils according to academic performance, including capability in the English language; and
c) Courses or classes, including the history of any ethnic group, which are open to all students, unless it is a violation of the restricted material.
By making sure that any attempts to teach anything about ethnic studies goes through a level of government, the Arizona State Government is just giving themselves concrete permission to deny the education about a certain ethnic group. Why would anyone want to do that? It doesn’t specify Latinos, why would you think that?
Let’s look at what else Arizona has been up to recently……..S.B. 1070
My focus within Library Science is service to Spanish speaking populations. In an attempt to learn more about how to better serve the problem of lack of services, I would look to Southern California, Texas, and Arizona. Although this doesn’t include library services, this is a scary first step. It makes me think of the past when education about African-Americans was restricted for the same exact reason; fear of an overthrow of government.
I fear you have taken a step backward, Arizona. Shame on you.