Thursday, July 5, 2012
You know him as the man who went on Comedy Central and told our secret that burritos have a magical super power and that he knows all about Rosa Clarks.
But this morning, local right-wing media want you to know something else about Tucson Unified School District board member Michael Hicks — he was assaulted by former Mexican-American studies students, teachers and supporters at the TUSD special board meeting, Monday, July 2.
They are right about one thing — Tucson Police Department officers working security during the meeting stood by, escorted him outside and stood right next to Hicks as he took a break to taunt students.
The meeting included a study session for board members to learn more about an administrative plan to close schools and build larger schools for more students in order to close the district's growing deficit. The proposal will culminate in community meetings and a 2013 Bond to raise money for new school construction. After everything that's taken place this past two years, it will be an interesting process to see how the board and district use "marketing" to convince voters to support a bond.
Before the special meeting started, MAS supporters were there as part of a Freedom Summer kick-off — a month long project with events and actions led by organizers and Chicano studies professors from Michigan. Organizers and artists from across the country are spending their July in Tucson for actions and other programs in support of MAS. This support also includes canvassing specific neighborhoods to engage voters on TUSD board elections and MAS.
During an executive session, Hicks walked out and stood on the wheelchair ramp that put him above the students and supporters. Some students chanted Rosa Clarks, and Hicks began to taunt students and jeer at them, while TPD officers stood by. As Hicks went inside, he turned back to taunt students one more time.
Inside, former MAS director Sean Arce told Hicks that the people he was making fun of are his constituents and he invited Hicks to sit down for a conversation away from the cameras and crowd. Sean never threatened him or pushed his chest into Hicks — although Hicks wagged his finger and looked like he was about to do more. However, this morning, Arce or others aren't talking about pressing charges against Hicks for attempted assault or assault.
Take a look at the Three Sonorans video. Toward the end, you see video of what occurred outside the admin building and it ends with a photo that captures what took place. You can see more of what took place that night right here. Thugs? Who are the real thugs here?
I have a call out to School Safety & Security Director Jeff Coleman, as well as TPD Public Information Officer Sgt. Maria Hawke asking why Hicks was allowed and escorted outside to taunt students and supporters? I'm also waiting for Hicks to respond to an e-mail asking why he claims he was assaulted that night.