by David Safier
Curtis Acosta was the featured speaker at today's Democrats of Greater Tucson gathering. You can hear a recording of his 28 minute talk below the fold. A few thoughts:
Curtis wrote out his talk because the thought of speaking in front of a roomful of adults staring at him was a bit daunting (It may surprise those of you who hear that teachers, who talk to students day after day, often experience stage fright when talking to adults. It's true. Take me, for example [Deep breaths, Deep Breaths, you'll do just fine] . . .). The result was a beautifully written and spoken presentation geared to people who don't have in-depth knowledge about MAS or its recent struggles.
I have known hundreds of teachers, literally, during my 30+ years of teaching. By any standards, Acosta ranks among the top few of those hundreds. I kept thinking as I listened, "What a pleasure for students to have a teacher who combines intellect, humor and sensitivity the way Curtis does." To deprive him of his voice in the classroom, of his carefully crafted curriculum, of his unique ability to convey truths about Mexican American history and literature, borders on the criminal. To do it for the purpose of furthering the careers of haters and bullies like John Huppenthal and Tom Horne is the cruelest form of irony.
Acosta said, "It's one thing to say we are anti-bullying, but it is another thing entirely to stand up to the bullies with action, even if there is a significant price to pay." That's one of the many reasons this fight is worth fighting. Unfortunately, TUSD Superintendent John Pedicone and Board member Mark Stegeman fail to understand the larger significance of the struggle.
You can hear Acosta's talk below the fold.
Click on the link if the player doesn't come up in this window.