Ethnic Studies not on school board agenda

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TUCSON, Ariz. -- Ethnic Studies is not on the agenda Tuesday for the Tucson Unified School Board, but that doesn't mean the controversial program won't come up at the meeting.

After two weeks of dramatic protests there's little chance supporters will let it stay on the back burner.

Tuesday's agenda for the TUSD school board doesn't have anything about Ethnic Studies on the list.  But observers expect the highly debated program will come up during the call to the audience.

"Its not on the agenda.  The board, by law, can't discuss it.  We definitely won't discuss it, but when people come to the audience call they're entitled to talk about anything they want," said TUSD School Board President Mark Stegeman.

For the last two weeks, the community has wanted to talk about Ethnic Studies.

So much so, many speakers had to be escorted out by Tucson police when their time was up.

The group "Save Ethnic Studies" plans to be present at Tuesday's meeting.

"Both our students and our adult community members I expect that there will be some kind of showing there as well," said Stegeman.

Monday morning, the showing of support for the program was in Phoenix at the Board of Education.

Maria Federico Brummer, a Mexican American Studies teacher, was glad to hear about the protest.

"I agree that they should be out there.  I agree that they should be having discussions with Hupenthal and they should be awaiting that audit and seeing exactly what that produced," said Brummer.

One thing in the works is a proposed forum between community leaders, Superintendent John Pedicone and the board.

"Doctor Pedicone is setting up a community forum maybe more than one community forum.  We're not going to talk about Ethnic Studies were going to leave that off the table until sometime after this forum," said Stegeman.

The people from save Ethnic Studies say they don't plan to take part in the forums.

"This is our community that needs to be heard and it's a little late now and it should of been done way before this resolution was even an idea," said Brummer.

TUSD security says people attending tomorrow's meeting will be let in an hour early. No backpacks will be allowed and a wand medal detector will be used before anyone can enter the board room.