Arizona Law Prompts Action and Discussion at Rutgers

On February 1, 2012 a new law in Arizona entitled HB-2281 was put into effect banning Mexican American Studies – and other programs or courses that are designed for a particular ethnic group – from the curriculum in Arizona public schools. Students and teachers nationwide participated in a day of action through discussion designed to counter Arizona's plans to silence the voices of Mexican American Studies advocates.  

On February 1st, concerned members of the Graduate School of Education — Farah Hussain and Meghan McCartney, students in the Language Education program along with Ariana Mangual Figueroa, Assistant Professor in the same program — organized the event, Teach-In “What is HB-2281, and What Does it Have to do With Us?”, in collaboration with the Rutgers Center for Latino Arts & Culture to educate students and faculty and to allow them to voice their opinion on the issue. This program enabled students to talk about the new law and what can be done locally to save Mexican American Students. Those who attended were introduced to resources about how to spread the word to others about this issue.

A screening of the film “Precious Knowledge” was held February 16th.  This film combines the stories of students in the Mexican American Studies Program at Tucson High School. After the film, director Eren McGinnis, as well as Graduate School of Education professors Ebelia Hernandez, Dan Battey, and Nora Hyland, facilitated a discussion about the film and the new Arizona law.