« Refugee Students Don't Negatively Affect the Education of Peers, Study Finds | Main | Educators, Students Brace for Trump's DACA Decision »

Racial Discrimination Was Behind Ethnic-Studies Courses Ban, Judge Rules

A federal judge has ruled that Arizona's ban on ethnic studies courses was motivated by racial discrimination.

The state violated students' constitutional rights "because both enactment and enforcement were motivated by racial animus," Judge A. Wallace Tashima wrote in a ruling issued Tuesday.

Supporters of the program have argued that the 2010 state law, which in part banned courses designed primarily for students of a particular ethnic group, targeted Mexican Americans and other minority groups.tuscon_600.jpg

The school district in Tucson dropped its Mexican-American studies program after state officials threatened to cut their state funding. Tashima's decision came in response to a lawsuit that students filed against the state.

However, Tashima hasn't yet settled on a remedy for the violation and has not issued a final judgment. Attorneys for the students hope he will throw out the law.

Back in 2013, Tashima had previously upheld most of the law in a civil lawsuit filed by students in the school system. But a federal appeals court sent the case back to trial to determine if the ban was enacted with racist intent.

The new trial was held in JulyTashima, a member of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit in San Francisco, heard the case by special designation as a district court judge in Arizona

The Associated Press contributed to this report

Related Stories

Ariz. District Drops Ethnic Studies Classes

Ethnic-Studies Classes Tense Subject in Tucson

Tuscon Students Aren't Deterred by Ethnic-Studies Controversy

Ariz. Schools Chief Rules Ethnic Studies Out of Compliance

California Governor Signs Law to Create First State Ethnic Studies Curriculum

Calif., Texas Debate Portrayal of Ethnic Groups in Curriculum

   Ethnic Studies Ruling by corey_c_mitchell on Scribd

Notice: We recently upgraded our comments. (Learn more here.) If you are logged in as a subscriber or registered user and already have a Display Name on edweek.org, you can post comments. If you do not already have a Display Name, please create one here.
Ground Rules for Posting
We encourage lively debate, but please be respectful of others. Profanity and personal attacks are prohibited. By commenting, you are agreeing to abide by our user agreement.
All comments are public.

Follow This Blog


Most Viewed on Education Week



Recent Comments

  • Charles: ELLs in our state ARE required to take State standardized read more
  • Melissa: Maybe I'm just becoming jaded, but this feels to me read more
  • Anonymous: Are you kidding me....UNO is an organizaion that literally destroys read more
  • Meg Baker: Are any schools using ACCESS scores for purposes other than read more
  • Dr. Mendoza: This is great news i must say. Hopefully this DREAM read more