Arizona's 'outrageous' ban on 'ethnic studies'

Just weeks after its scandalous immigration bill, Arizona makes it illegal for school teachers to "advocate ethnic solidarity"

First came the state's radical, and some said discriminatory, new immigration bill. Now, Arizona Governor Jan Brewer has banned the state's schools from teaching "ethnic studies" classes — courses that "advocate ethnic solidarity" instead of promoting community integration. The new bill's rather charged language also makes it illegal to teach "the overthrow of the United States government." Fifteen protesters were arrested while condemning the "outrageous" law. Is the bill required — or misguided? (Watch a CNN report about Arizona's controversial ban on ethnic studies)

This started with one peeved Republican: This bill is the product of one man's obsession with a single program, says Valerie Strauss at The Washington Post. Specifically, Republican state schools chief Tom Horne, who's running for attorney general, and the Mexican-American Studies program in the Tucson Unified School District. Students learn about "the role of Hispanics in the Vietnam War," and how "Arizona was once a part of Mexico." It's hardly "subversive stuff," but Horne thinks it teaches kids to hate his party. This debate "pretends to be about education but is all about politics."

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