Outlawing Shakespeare: The Battle for the Tucson Mind is a documentary that focuses on the elimination of the Mexican American Studies program within the Tucson Unified School District (TUSD) in Arizona. [See full version below.] Under a federal desegregation decree, Mexican American Studies was created and was successful at improving academic achievement for Latino students in Tucson until earlier in 2012 when it was shut down by the TUSD School Board.
The documentary explores Arizona Attorney Tom Horne’s crusade as he and other Arizona officials claim the program in Tucson is attempting to convince students to secede from the United States by creating “Aztlan.” Baffling students, parents and teachers, Outlawing Shakespeare explores why this tactic is being utilized and explores how officials use the mythology of Aztlan to pass legislation outlawing literature by Latino authors and the reading of that literature by Arizona citizens.
Some of you will be shocked at the comments of elected officials and the affects of comments on youth. Is there a rebellion in Tucson or are officials worried about an impending Latino majority in Arizona? The documentary explores how Arizona politics has become focused on race and adults blaming youth and using intimidation to force students, teachers and parents not to speak out.
Passed in 2010, HB-2281 outlaws any curriculum focused on overthrowing the US government and focused on one ethnic group. This legislation is the only legislation ever to focus on the concept of “Aztlan” by a sitting attorney general of any state in the United States.
This post first appeared on LA Progressive and is republished with permission.