TUSD Board member Stegeman proposed allowing some of the so-called “banned” MAS books be returned to the classroom. MAS supporters attacked him, claiming his move was disingenuous and motivated by his re-election campaign (they even staged a protest outside his house last week). That ignores the fact that early on, he called for the books to be made available to the libraries across the district. This resolution furthered this move by making some of the books available for classroom use under the same guidelines that other books. Here is his proposed resolution:
The books which were used in the suspended Mexican American Studies courses, including the seven titles which the district removed from classrooms in January 2012, shall henceforth be subject to the same rules for classroom use as are all other books which are not specifically approved by the Board for a specific course. Those rules are defined by statute, Board policy, and the district’s posted regulations. (emphasis mine)
This would mean that these books could be used in the same manner as any other book in the district’s library. Being treated the same wasn’t good enough, I guess.
His motion died for lack of support from any of his fellow board members. Grijalva said his move was ‘too little too late’. Does she and the MAS supporters expect to fully reinstate the MAS program as it was before? That ignores the reality of the situation. The course content was found to violate state law. Bringing back the classes without a change in the court ruling or changes to the curriculum.
The MAS supporters have accused Stegeman of making this move for political gain. That could very well be true, but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t the right thing to do at this time. Instead, they played politics with this in an attempt to hurt him, his reputation, and his re-election.
When the board voted to not appeal the ruling and end MAS classes, it was district and building-level administrators that removed the books from classrooms, “banning” them as the MAS supporters would say.
Hicks, the board member they hate more than Stegeman, opposed this proposal. Looks like he won.