By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - As students and faculty of several Tucson high schools protested the end of Mexican-American studies and removal of text books, some members of Congress are seeking an investigation into the ethnic studies ban.
On Monday, hundreds of students from Tucson Magnet High School and from Pueblo, Cholla and Wakefield high schools walked out of morning classes and marched to the Tucson Unified School District’s headquarters to protest the removal of dozens of Mexican-American studies textbooks, as well as the state-ordered suspension of the Mexican-American studies program. A petition aimed at getting the books back in the schools had gained more than 11,000 signatures as of Wednesday morning.
The Congressional Hispanic Caucus sent a letter to the U.S. Department of Education’s Civil Rights Office asking it to investigate the language of the law banning ethnic studies and its specific application against Tucson’s Mexican-American studies program.
On Tuesday, the American Library Association passed a resolution condemning the suspension of Tucson’s ethnic studies programs and the removal of materials associated with them. It also urges Arizona's legislature to repeal the law that bans ethnic studies in school curriculum.
Tucson schools Governing Board President Mark Stegeman said last week that part of the reason seven titles were being taken from classrooms was because none of them had gone through a required district approval process. But Three Sonorans, a local Tucson blog, uncovered a 2007 document that it says proves that three of the removed books had already gained district approval: “Critical Race Theory,” by Richard Delgado, “Occupied America: A History of Chicanos,” by Rodolfo Acuna, and “Pedagogy of the Oppressed,” by Paulo Freire.
(CNN) - The FBI has arrested three East Haven, Connecticut, police patrol officers and one sergeant for their alleged role in the mistreatment of Latinos - the first arrests to stem from a federal investigation into racial profiling in that town.
The men allegedly threatened and assaulted detainees, made false arrests - including one against a local clergy member - and later conspired to cover up evidence of their conduct by falsifying reports and blocking an investigation, prosecutors said Tuesday during a news conference in Bridgeport.
Sgt. John Miller and officers David Cari, Dennis Spaulding and Jason Zullo were arrested early Tuesday for allegedly conspiring to "injure, oppress, threaten, and intimidate various members of the East Haven community," profiling residents during traffic stops, performing illegal searches and harassing Latino business owners and their advocates, according to the indictment.
"They behaved like bullies with badges," said Janice Fedarcyk, assistant FBI director in New York.
By Stephanie Siek, CNN
(CNN) - "Most folks my age and complexion don’t speak much about the past," says the grandmotherly African-American woman who narrates "Heart and Soul: The Story of America and African Americans," a book illustrated and written by Kadir Nelson.
The American Library Association announced Monday that "Heart and Soul" won the Coretta Scott King Book Award in the author category, and as an honor winner in the illustrator category. Last week, it was announced the book is a nominee for an NAACP Image Award for children's literature.
"Many of us are getting up in age and feel it’s time to make some things known before they are gone for good. So it’s important that you pay attention, honey, because I’m only going to tell you this story but once," the unnamed narrator says.
The narrator’s words are accompanied by Nelson's sculptural, intensely colorful illustrations, which interweave images of American history with those of her family’s struggles and triumphs in a country that only recently acknowledged their full potential as human beings.
Nelson’s book was selected among more than 100 entries for the award, which aims to promote children’s books, authors and illustrators that portray some aspect of the African-American experience. Jonda McNair, who chaired the award selection committee, said they were impressed by Nelson's marriage of the text to the illustrations.
Editor's note: Watch In America's documentary about the race to capture the Latino vote on CNN in October 2012.
Current Republican presidential candidates are trying to reach Latino voters with Spanish-language ads, just like candidates Ronald Reagan, George Bush, Bill Clinton and Barack Obama did. Even a TV ad for John F. Kennedy featured Jackie Kennedy saying "Que viva Kennedy." But voting rights activists say the ads will fall flat if the candidate positions don't appeal to Latino voters.
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