Editor’s Note: This guest editorial is provided by Librotraficante, the organization formed in the wake of the Arizona Legislature’s ban on Mexican American Studies. The Librotraficante Caravan “smuggled” books by Latino writers into Tucson, and a movement was born. Librotraficante engages in political awareness and activism to urge every state to cultivate “a fuller understanding of all the histories that make up the United States.”
Do you know the name of your school board members? Have you ever attended a school board meeting? Well, you should. These publicly elected officials have much more influence on your and your kids’ lives than you may realize. And that’s a good or bad thing, depending on the political agenda of your elected school board members.
Here are 10 ways your local School Board impacts your Life and your kids’ future.
1. Your school board decides if you and your kids go to court because your child is late or absent too often. In Texas, an honor student went to jail for too many absences.
2. Your school board decides if your child will get spanked. Studies show that schools punish African American and Latino males more often and more severely for the same infractions as white males.
3. Your school board decides if students will eat Pink Slime for lunch. “Pink slime” is beef trimmings once only used in dog food. The trimmings are now sprayed with ammonia and added to most ground beef as cheap filler. Yummy. Here are the delicious details. Who would have thought we’d ever think of greasy pizza and fries as a “healthy” alternative.
4. Your school board decides if your kid gets picked up by the school bus. They also decide how far from the school they need to live to get picked up. That could be 2 miles, 3 miles, even 5 miles. It’s up to them.
Read Related: The Making of a Librotraficante: Smuggling Books into Arizona & the American Dream
5. Your school board decides the borders for school zones. That’s why your child may not be able to attend the school down the block.
6. Your school board decides if there is a pre-kindergarten program. Your school board also devises the standards and methods to determine if you are poor enough (income), disabled enough (have a disability), homeless enough, or speak little enough English to qualify for the program.
7. Your school board decides if your child’s favorite teacher gets a raise.
8. Your school board decides how great teachers are rewarded. Your school board also decides how bad teachers are rewarded.
9. Your school board decides if your child’s gifts or talents count towards being identified for the Gifted and Talented program. That’s assuming they voted for a Gifted and Talented program for your school.
10. Your school board decides if your history is against the law. In 2012, the Tucson Unified School District prohibited Mexican-American Studies. If you would like to have your children study their history and have the opportunity to learn more about U.S. History in a more comprehensive manner from all points of view…get involved. Today.