ARIZONA SCHOOL CHIEF WANTS RAGE AGAINST THE MACHINE OUT OF CLASSROOM
The departing state superintendent of public education in Arizona spent his last day on the job threatening sanctions against a school district for citing Rage Against The Machine in the district’s curriculum on Mexican-American history.
According to Rolling Stone, Republican superintendent John Huppenthal sent a “notice of non-compliance” to the Tucson Unified School District, claiming that the use of Rage’s song “Take The Power Back” violated the state’s ban on ethnic studies. Huppenthal also scolded the district for using an essay written by rapper KRS-One, titled “An Introduction To Hip-Hop” in a class on African-American cultural perspectives.
Rage Against the Machine guitarist Tom Morello addressed the matter on Twitter, claiming that his band’s lyrics are “only dangerous if you teach (them) right.”
Huppenthal threatened to cut state funding for the district by 10 percent if it did not comply with the law by March 4th.
Arizona’s statewide ban on ethnic studies became law in 2010 and limited the contents of classroom studies.
Huppenthal said that the two current courses in question “promote the overthrow of the United States government” as well as “resentment toward a race or class of people,” while advocating “ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals,” as determined by the law
A lawsuit seeking to overturn the law will go before the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals this month.
Huppenthal’s successor as superintendent, Diane Douglas, will follow up on the matter, according to a spokesperson for the state’s Department of Education.
Watch RATM perform “Take The Power Back”: