Arizona Gov. Jan Brewer has signed a bill targeting a school district's ethnic studies program, hours after a report by United Nations human rights experts condemned the measure.
State schools chief Tom Horne, who has pushed the bill for years, said he believes the Tucson school district's Mexican-American studies program teaches Latino students that they are oppressed by white people.
Public schools should not be encouraging students to resent a particular race, he said.
"It's just like the old South, and it's long past time that we prohibited it," Horne said.
Brewer's signature on the bill Tuesday comes less than a month after she signed the nation's toughest crackdown on illegal immigration — a move that ignited international backlash amid charges the measure would encourage racial profiling of Hispanics. The governor has said profiling will not be tolerated.
The measure signed Tuesday prohibits classes that advocate ethnic solidarity, that are designed primarily for students of a particular race or that promote resentment toward a certain ethnic group.
The Tucson Unified School District program offers specialized courses in African-American, Mexican-American and Native-American studies that focus on history and literature and include information about the influence of a particular ethnic group.
For example, in the Mexican-American Studies program, an American history course explores the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War, and a literature course emphasizes Latino authors.
Thursday, May 13, 2010
Arizona governor signs bill banning ethnic studies.
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