TUSD "Banned" Books
In December 2011, an Arizona state administrative law judge found the Mexican American Studies program offered by the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) to be in violation of Arizona state law A.R.S. §15-112. As a result of this ruling, TUSD stood to lose 10 percent of the district's state aid, or about $15 million dollars per year, if the program continued without major changes. In January 2012, TUSD's Governing Board voted to suspend the program’s classes. Following the suspension of those classes, all copies of seven book titles were removed from TUSD classrooms, boxed, and put into storage.
The titles affected were:
• "Critical Race Theory" by Richard Delgado.
• "500 Years of Chicano History in Pictures" edited by Elizabeth Martinez.
• "Message to Aztlan" by Rodolfo "Corky" Gonzales.
• "Chicano! The History of the Mexican American Civil Rights Movement" by Arturo Rosales
• "Occupied America: A History of Chicanos" by Rodolfo Acuña.
• "Pedagogy of the Oppressed" by Paulo Freire.
• "Rethinking Columbus: The Next 500 Years" by Bill Bigelow.
The removal of these titles was widely discussed in press coverage as “banning”. In a January 18, 2012 letter to staff, TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone denied the allegation of book banning. He stated that, while the books had been removed from classrooms due to the suspension of relevant classes, some copies of the titles remained available for student use in school libraries.
In July 2012, TUSD Governing Board Member Mark Stegman proposed a resolution to restore the removed titles to classrooms, but no motion was made for a vote due to lack of support.
Huicochea, Alexis. "Effort fails; ethnic-study texts won't be back in classrooms."Arizona Daily Star. July 25, 2012.
Huicochea, Alexis. "TUSD board shuts down Mex. American Studies." Arizona Daily Star. January 18, 2012.
Huicochea, Alexis. "TUSD rejects reports of book ban." Arizona Daily Star. January 18, 2012.