TUSD seeks open dialogue with ethnic studies leaders

Published: May. 18, 2011 at 9:17 PM MST|Updated: Mar. 2, 2018 at 4:12 PM MST
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TUCSON, AZ (KOLD) –  The superintendent of Tucson's largest school district is reaching out to Ethnic Studies supporters who have argued against changes to the program.  John Pedicone said that TUSD administration won't press charges against the individuals who disrupted the meetings held a few weeks ago.

"We simply have to kind of bring that level of anxiety down to where we can begin to talk reasonably about this program, which we, which I think the district has said from the very beginning it supports," Pedicone said.

He said that he sent letters to UNIDOS and the Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board to say that he has advised the TUSD governing board to table and not consider the resolution to make Mexican American Studies an elective.  He said that nothing should be done until after the state decides if it considers the program illegal.  And he won't press charges against those cited at meetings on April 26th and May 3rd.

"I can't speak for individual board members or others, but from my perspective it's more important to bring the tone to a level where we can have a conversation and begin to have levels of understanding for the sake of the district.  That's really my responsibility," Pedicone said.

Pedicone's letters ask the advisory board and UNIDOS to meet with him to reestablish open dialogue about the program and community.  As he works on that, he said that the district still needs to move forward making middle schools successful and keeping students in TUSD through high school.

"TUSD can't be in the center of this kind of controversy when we have so many other things that are really going on that are really positive that the district's engaging in and the great deal of work that we have to do," Pedicone said.

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