Indigenous Peoples and Human Rights

January 26, 2012

Banned Books: Tucson Middle School Students Become Heroes

Suspension​s lifted for Tucson's "NiƱos Heroes" Wakefield M.S. students (And banned books petition)

Acoma Pueblo's Simon Ortiz speaks to students today

By Roberto Rodriguez
Censored News

Students who were suspended from Wakefield Middle School in Tucson for walking out earlier this week spent the day attending Mexican American Studies (MAS) classes at the University of Arizona. So did a suspended Pueblo High School student.

In the second class, they were treated to the words of world-renowned writer and poet Simon Ortiz. No sooner had they finished attending the last class of the day did the Wakefield students receive word that their suspensions had been lifted.

They walked out to protest the dismantling of the Mexican American Studies program.
Thanks to all who showed support for these courageous students. Separate from attending classes, they also presented at the Centro on campus, explaining why they walked out.
Another and bigger event is being planned on the UA campus to further educate the campus community re the dismantling of the Mexican American Studies --Tucson Unified District Schools program.

It's a small victory, though a victory nonetheless. Oddly, the board member (Michael Hicks) who introduced the resolution to dismantle the MAS prorgam, kept playing hide and go seek, not introducing himself to the students or anyone else. He would have been welcomed to speak to the students as they are powerful and would have been able to answer any of his questions.
There is also an ongoing petition re the TUSD book banning. It can be found at:
The thing to remember is that they have actually dismantled a program, thrashed a discipline and banned not just the 7 boxed books. The actual number of books in the curriculum number more than 50. For a list, go to:
Roberto Dr. Cintli Rodriguez
Assistant professor
University of Arizona
PO BOX 210023
Tucson Arizona 85721

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