Tucson says banished books may return to classrooms

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Jeff Biggers, the author most recently of "Reckoning at Eagle Creek: The Secret Legacy of Coal in the Heartland," is currently at work on a new book on Arizona politics and history

In a clarification of last Friday’s announcement of a list of Mexican-American studies books to “be cleared from all classrooms” in order to comply with a state ban on ethnic studies, the Tucson Unified School District declared Tuesday that it ”has not banned any books as has been widely and incorrectly reported.”

Salon reported last week that TUSD had  “banned” seven textbooks and forbidden the teaching of  Shakespeare’s play “The Tempest” in Mexican-American literature classes, a story that was picked up by two Arizona newspapers as well as Democracy Now radio program.

“Seven books that were used as supporting materials for curriculum in Mexican American Studies classes have been moved to the district storage facility,” the statement read, “because the classes have been suspended as per the ruling by Arizona Superintendent for Public Instruction John Huppenthal.” District spokesperson Cara Rene added that “the books may be considered for future use as new curriculums are created going forward. We are seeking assistance from the Arizona Department of Education to help us create new classes for the 2012/13 school year.”

Huppenthal, who campaigned in 2010 to stop the Mexican-American studies program, overruled an independent audit that praised the curriculum and ruled last month that it violated the state ban....

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