Arizona Teacher Embodies Educational Spirit of Howard Zinn

Tucson’s Mexican American Studies Director Sean Arce Wins National Zinn Education Award

By Jeff Biggers

While the Daily Show brilliantly reminded millions of viewers last night of the disgraceful racist elements behind the attack on Tucson’s acclaimed and now outlawed Mexican American Studies program, educators across the nation recalled a teaching moment. Sean Arce was director of the now outlawed Mexican American Studies program in Tuscon.

Over a half century ago, facing a similar segregationist campaign to shut down the Highlander Folk School in Tennessee, famous for its pioneering desegregation and civil rights efforts, folk school co-founder Myles Horton informed his rabid foes: “A school is an idea, and you can’t padlock an idea.”