Wednesday, December 26, 2012
Before our annual Heroes issue goes the way of time, and our Year in Review hits stands this week, I was thinking about heroes I didn't get a chance to write about.
Once a year we think about a group or person we want to include in the issue, and it made sense to focus on Caroline Isaacs with the American Friends Service Committee and her work exposing and educating Arizonans on the private prison industry. We've written about the issue in the past, and we plan to write more in the future — but it never seems enough.
In this coming issue, I highlight 2012's headlines on Tucson Unified School District, such as Mexican-American studies, special education and desegregation. Objections to parts of the deseg proposal are filed and now, like the case in front of U.S. District Court Judge A. Wallace Tashima on the state's anti-Mexican-American studies law, Tucson waits for U.S. District Court Judge David Bury on the desegregation plan.
The past few months have been difficult for many people who support the return of MAS. As tensions continue to rise, besides suggesting some deep breaths and doing that thing your mother may have mentioned long ago—you know, wait three minutes before you open your mouth (just a suggestion)—why not take a moment to give thanks to Sylvia Campoy.
We've talked to and pointed out Campoy in our coverage on the TUSD desegregation case and her work as the Mendoza representative with Mexican-American Legal Defense Fund attorneys in the decades-old lawsuit, Fisher-Mendoza v. TUSD.
Despite what some may think, Campoy has been involved in the deseg case defending the education of all children in TUSD, as well as Mexican-American studies and changes needed for English Language Learners. This past year, Campoy has had to listen to a lot of false accusations or chisme spewed in an effort to discredit her work — what's been distressing is that that gossip has come from all sides.
Campoy and the attorneys at MALDEF deserve credit, thanks—and if you see them in town, a few hugs wouldn't hurt either. We don't know what Judge Bury's final decision will be on the different areas of the deseg plan, including if MAS will return as most MAS supporters hope it does (with core credit classes in Chicano literature, history and government with Chicano perspectives), but that doesn't mean Campoy isn't a hero.
I imagine that once Bury decides on the deseg plan and the objections before him, Campoy's work on the correct implementation of a desegregation plan in TUSD continues. I wouldn't expect anything less of a hero.