Latino community calls "censorship" on Chàvez march

Latino community calls "censorship" on Chàvez march

CREATED Mar. 30, 2012

Is the ethnic studies battle now affecting a Tucson tradition?

Reporter: Tammy Vo

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - On Saturday morning at 9 a.m., hundreds of people within the Latino community will march in honor of César Chàvez but they'll do it from a different spot. Event organizers say that TUSD is censoring the march.

"It was something we took very personally" saidmarch organizer, Laura Dent of the Arizona César Chàvez coalition. She says that the district decided to set some rules. "One, there would be no reference of the Mexican American Studies Program which was recently eliminated. Two, district administration would not be criticized and three, there would be an emcee of their choice enforcing and policing these criteria".

The district didn't want to appoint anyone to speak with KGUN on camera but sent this statement:

"Tucson Unified School District honors and respects the Cesar Chavez March as a community event.
The Mexican American Studies Community Advisory Board has incorrectly stated that TUSD has attempted to block the event from originating at Pueblo High School.
For years the march was staged to begin from Pueblo High School and then proceed to a nearby park.
An event organizer and a district leader had discussed the event and the event organizer was asked to address concerns. This discussion was not designed to censor the event but to understand the use of the space.
The decision to move the event from Pueblo High School rests solely with the event organizers, the Arizona Cesar Chavez Holiday Coalition, and was not requested or demanded by the district."

What do the event organizers say to that response from the district?

"Obviously it was of our volition to move it but when you set the preconditions ... it's clear that the level of censorship is clearly unacceptable".