Tucson Unified School District replaces constitutional literacy with racial resentment and activism


During the pandemic, Tucson Unified School District — the third largest school district in Arizona — released an ‘American Government Week 1” learning guide for students to teach them to identify “components of a well-functioning constitutional republic, including concepts such as democratic principles, constitutional rights, and human rights.” 

Despite the uncontroversial learning objective, the actual materials pointed in a very different direction.  For example, the vocabulary list recommended for students ignored terms like “separation of powers,” “checks and balances,” and “federalism,” instead featuring vocabulary words like ‘“boycott,” “civil disobedience,” “Jim Crow,” “stand your ground,” “lynching,” “segregation,” and, perhaps most bizarrely, “COINTELPRO (Counter Intelligence Program): a series of covert and, at times, illegal projects conducted by the US FBI aimed at surveilling, infiltrating, discrediting, and disrupting American political organizations & program[s].”

The suggested readings/videos then included, among others: “The Black Panthers: Vanguard of the Revolution,” “Chicano! Fighting for Political Power,” Malcolm X’s speech “The Ballot or the Bullet,” and “The Constitution and the Political Legacy of Slavery”.  (The Black Panthers video featured an inspirational message: “We[’re] not going to get nothing … by sitting around here doing these sit-in demonstrations. … How are we going to do it? By violence. Violence. By having a revolution. That’s with blood, you know. Let everybody bleed a little bit.”)

Additional Reading:

Schools ought to be teaching our founding principles, Washington Examiner, Feb. 5, 2021