June 2018 TUSD Desegregation update from Latin@ Plaintiff representative

Three Sonorans note: Sylvia Campoy will be a guest on Wake Up Tucson, 1030-KVOI, this Wednesday, June 20th, at 8am to discuss the issues she addresses and the speak-out event on Thursday mentioned in this article.

“Of all the civil rights for which the world has struggled and fought for 5,000 years, the right to learn is undoubtedly the most fundamental. If a people has preserved this right, then no matter how far it goes astray, no matter how many mistakes it makes, in the long run, in the unfolding of generations, it is going to come back to this right… The freedom to learn, curtailed even as it is today, has been bought by bitter sacrifice. And whatever we may think of the curtailment of other civil rights, we should fight to the last ditch to keep open the right to learn, the right to have examined in our schools not only what we believe but what we do not believe; not only what our leaders say, but what the leaders of other groups and nations, and the leaders of other centuries have said. We must insist upon this to give our children the fairness of a start which will equip them with such an array of facts and such an attitude toward truth that they can have a real chance to judge what the world is, and what its greater minds have thought it might be.”

—W. E. B. Du Bois, The Freedom to Learn (1949)


Dear Friends and Colleagues:

In a legal brief TUSD filed on April 11, 2018, with the Federal District Court, it objected to the Special Master’s (SM’s) Annual Report and Recommendations (R&R) and, in part, the following was presented within the document:

  • The Mendoza case should be immediately and completely terminated;
  • Discrimination with respect to Mexican American/Latino students is no longer occurring and has not occurred in decades; and
  • TUSD is entitled to entry judgment terminating the Court’s supervision in the Mendoza case. [see pages 2, 42-44 in the TUSD April 11, 2018 filing found above.

The May 2018 Desegregation Update which you received last month addressed this issue. This is to add to the information in the May Update and also to invite you to a very important upcoming meeting.

Theoretically, the Court may now sustain or deny the District’s position, as it has done with prior legal positions which the District has presented in legal briefs filed with the Court. If the District’s position was to be accepted and ordered by the Court, it would strip 29,000 Mexican American/Latino students from having a voice through the Mendoza Plaintiffs and their legal counsel while the case continues until TUSD is granted unitary status by the Court and agreements are reached about the District’s post unitary commitments. It is absolutely essential that the Mendoza Plaintiffs’ voice continues to be heard in the desegregation case. Any effort to silence or suppress it, as has been proposed in the April 11th TUSD legal brief, should be recognized as yet another one of TUSD’s constitutional law and/or moral law violations.

Realistically, it is doubtful that the Court would sustain an outrageous legal position such as has been proposed by TUSD. Nonetheless, TUSD’s position pertaining to the Mendoza case has been heard loudly and clearly, not only by the Mendoza Plaintiffs but by many within the community. It is not being taken lightly!

Moreover, two Board members have publicly stated that they knew nothing about the April 11th legal filing containing the above-noted positions on the Mendoza case and each has said that they disagree with the positions. The Court has made it clear that Board members should be currently informed about the desegregation case, thus, the lack of awareness over the content of the April 11th filing and its potential impact is of real concern.

Top level officials now claim that those who have voiced concern over this matter have misunderstood and have an inaccurate perception about the issue because the District has ‘not filed a motion to dismiss the Mendoza case.’ This implies that the Court is unable to sustain or deny TUSD’s legal positions in the April 11th filing, which is not the case. The Court now has the option to sustain or deny TUSD’s position as presented in the legal brief. The effort to confuse the matter with legal bantering about “motions to dismiss” is not helpful and it compounds the insult.

An excellent article appeared in the Arizona Daily Star by Hank Stephenson on May 26, 2018, on District’s April 11, 2018 legal brief which focused on its position to immediately and completely terminate the Mendoza case. It caused significant interest in the issue. I encourage you to read and share the article: http://tucson.com/news/local/tusd-seeking-to-dismiss-latino-students-from-desegregation-case/article_005f8989-9674-50ed-b075-7eb4814f9512.html

If you are one, of many, who have found TUSD’s position on the Mendoza case of grave concern and find it unacceptable and/or if you would like to learn more about this situation, as many of you have indicated, PLEASE attend the June 21st CARE event described below! CARE has planned a program which will engage participants, provide historical information, as well as discussion on TUSD’s position on the Mendoza case. Most importantly, CARE invites you to become part of the active solution by SPEAKing OUT about the issue. It is an opportunity for the community to come together, learn more, and SPEAK OUT! CARE has invited me to take part in the event, which, of course, I am honored to do. Please let me know if you will be attending and by all means invite others. A flyer is also attached for your information and distribution. I hope to see you on Thursday!

As always, I am very appreciative of your interest and support.

My best,

Sylvia Campoy
[Latina Plaintiff representative for Mendoza/Latino students on TUSD Desegregation Case]


WHAT: Please Join CARE for a COMMUNITY SPEAK OUT!

WHEN: June 21, 2018 5:30-7:30 p.m.

WHERE: 225 East 26th Street (just west of 4th Avenue)- Global Justice Center

WHO is Hosting the Event: The Coalition for Accountability, Respect, and Excellence for Tucson Unified School District (CARE), is a Tucson-based watch-dog organization comprised of stakeholders in Tucson’s public education (parents, teachers, substitutes, workers, and taxpayers). CARE’s key objective is to hold Tucson Unified School District publicly accountable in all areas of its operation, with focus on its education of its students. CARE monitors Governing Board policies and their implementation as well as its financial decisions and management. It shines a light on the problems that are found and provides recommended solutions to the TUSD Governing Board.

See attached CARE flyer.