February 23, 2012

Huppenthal won't ban Native classes

Arizona Superintendent Promotes Native CultureArizona Superintendent of Public Instruction John Huppenthal may be taking flack for cutting the Mexican American Studies program at the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD), but he spent February 21 and 22 telling educators and students on the Navajo Nation that the state of Arizona wants to help them teach language and cultures.

Huppenthal held two town hall meetings, one in Chinle at the Chinle Wildcat Den and the other in Kayenta at the Monument Valley High School Student Activity Center.

He told the gathered participants at Chinle that Native language and culture classes would not be banned like Mexican American Studies has been at TUSD.

“We don’t anticipate any fallout to other cultural studies programs,” Huppenthal said, according to Navajo Times. “The challenges associated with that (Mexican American Studies) program are isolated to that program, that school district and that environment.”
Comment:  It would be interesting to know Huppenthal's motivation here. Does he genuinely think there's nothing wrong with Native studies? Or does he think Indian students and schools are too poor and isolated to pose a threat to Arizona? The latter, I'm guessing.

After all, he's already banned one book--Rethinking Columbus--used in Native studies classes. I'm sure the lessons in that book are part of what students learn in these classes. If Huppenthal knew what was going on, I bet it would upset him.

For more on Arizona's ethnic studies ban, see Educators Protest Tucson Book Ban and Alexie on Tucson Book Ban.

Below:  "Members of a song and dance troupe from Many Farms Elementary School gather around Arizona Superintendent of Schools John Huppenthal for a photo Tuesday after a town hall meeting in the Chinle Wildcat Den."


Anonymous said...

Of course, the minute an Indian professor mentions that the U.S.-Mexico border is 100% artificial, less than 200 years old, and, at its current location, a result of slave owners wanting to keep slavery legal (hence the invasion of Mexico), he'll get banned.

And, at the risk of invoking Godwin's law, um, something Martin Niemöller said?

Shadow Wolf said...

Actually, its neither of Rob's (the paraphrasing racist) assumptions. Certainly, not "the latter" of your inane presumption. Class--whether Rob is dirt poor or not, has nothing to do with Huppenthal's decision to not ban Native American studies. Are you really that lame to assume that it's all about the money, to be perceived as a threat to the Republican element? The tone in the Mexican American Studies, which also preaches anti-American sentiments, was his sole reason for banning those studies. Economic class and money has nothing to do with it.

You're a moron.

I haven't read "Rethinking Columbus" yet, to make any judgement on that book. But then again, most Natives are not ignorant on the subject of Christopher Columbus. Almost as if the book isn't even needed.