The Main Stream

Jul 9, 2012 1:53 AM

Mexican-American Studies classes taught outside of schools

TUCSON - Mexican-American Studies teachers are taking their curriculum outside of school hours and school walls.

An Arizona state law has banned the classes in the Tucson Unified School District.

Several teachers talked to a dozens of people at the John Valenzuala Youth Center in South Tucson.

It is part of a campaign called Tucson Freedom Summer 2012.

Curtis Acosta used to teach the courses at Tucson High School.

"It's outreach and conversations, and it's all free," Acosta said, "because it's who we are. It's who we've always been."

Acosta said it is important for people to learn about their culture.

"We can't stop. We're going to take this opportunity to grow," Acosta said. "We aren't just about Mexican American studies. We're about every child in our classes."

Some people came to the event just to listen to the educators who are part of the controversy.

"I wanted to hear it from the teachers themselves," David Sadker said, "and that, I found incredibly helpful."

Sadker said it does not matter what his culture is to appreciate the message.

"Mine isn't Hispanic, but I don't want to lose mine," Sadker said, "and I don't want them to lose theirs. That's what makes a democracy rich."

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