Ten teachers and the director in the Mexican-American Studies Department in the Tucson Unified School District in Arizona filed a lawsuit last week in federal court challenging a state law that seeks to ban ethnic studies in public schools. The lawsuit names Arizona schools chief Tom Horne and the 10 members of the state board of education as defendants.
A state law that will go into effect in December bans Arizona’s public schools from offering ethnic-studies courses that are designed for a particular ethnic or racial group, promote solidarity for a particular group, or foster resentment toward a particular group.
The teachers “believe that the act is the product of racial bias aimed specifically at Hispanics, is unlawful, results in impermissible deprivations of rights guaranteed by the United States Constitution,” the lawsuit says. It contends the law violates the First and 14th Amendments of the Constitution, including the equal protection and due process clauses. The lawsuit also says that Mr. Horne has no facts to establish that the 60,000-student Tucson district has violated the state’s ethnic-studies law.
A version of this article appeared in the October 27, 2010 edition of Education Week as Ariz. Teachers File Lawsuit Over Ethnic-Studies Law