Several weeks ago, I drove up Interstate 10 to meet with a bunch of college friends at the Fiesta Bowl.
The day was a blast. It was fantastic to catch up with old friends (who now live in New York City, Washington, D.C., Pittsburgh and the San Francisco Bay Area) I hadn't seen in years. The game—save the final three seconds of regulation and the overtime—was fantastic.
However, there was one downer about the day: the reminder I received about the fact that my adopted home state doesn't have a great reputation outside of extreme-right GOP circles.
Of course, after the unfathomable crusade by the state against the Tucson Unified School District's ethnic-studies program—which, now that the crusade has ended in an apparent state victory, has devolved into something that's awfully close to book bans—our state's reputation has only become more embarrassing. And horrifying.
While I can't completely fault the TUSD school board for voting the way it did—the loss of millions of dollars could effectively cripple the district—I can fault the board and TUSD administrators for the clusterfuck that's followed since the Jan. 10 vote. (See "What Now?" here for more.)
Certain teachers are being told they can't teach certain books? Certain topics may or may not be off-limits? Really? In 2012?
John Huppenthal, Tom Horne, Jan Brewer and every legislator who voted for House Bill 2281 should be ashamed—and so should all of the TUSD officials who let this happen, either by not fighting the state or by not adequately preparing for all eventualities.
Some students in classrooms in the city I call home had to watch as their books were taken away. I've never been more embarrassed to be an Arizonan.