THE DEMISE OF H.T. SANCHEZ: KILLING HOPE FOR LATINO CHILDREN IN TUSD // EL FIN DEL SERVICIO DE H.T. SANCHEZ: DESTRUCCION DE LA ESPERANZA DE LOS NIÑOS LATINOS EN TUSD

by Cesar Aguirre

Yesterday my 10 year old daughter Jasmine asked me to sign her permission slip to go on a field trip with her class to see the movie Hidden Figures, a true story of 3 black women who where instrumental in the development of NASA’s space program during the space race.

I like to screen what my children watch, so I looked for the movie online and watched it (even with copyright banners across the screen through most of it).

As my daughter was getting ready for bed she saw what I was watching and said, “dad, you’re going  to ruin the movie for me. Why are you watching it?”

I explained to her that it helps me to understand what she’s studying so I can think of questions to ask in order to provoke dialogue. I didn’t have to ask anything to get this conversation going. She caught a few minutes of the movie as I brushed out her hair and braided it before bed. Just before giving me a good night kiss she turns to me and asks, “why do boys still treat us like that? They still think girls can only do certain things like cook and clean. And when a girl does prove they are good at something, like basketball, they always say things like, Oh you just got lucky or I just let you win.”

Being a father of 2 young, bright and beautiful Chican@s my heart just about broke. I could feel her questioning her own abilities because of those societal views.

I had to remind her that she can achieve any goal she sets her mind to. I also had to be honest with her and let her know that because she is a woman, a latina woman, she is going to have to work twice as hard and accomplish twice as much in order to be valued and recognized for her abilities, just like the women in the movie.

Though we have seen great strides in civil rights, we are far from where we need to be. Today it is easy to see how far we have yet to go, just look at the white house. Trump is a direct effect of the hate and anger stirred in those who feel they are losing control of “their” country to the hands of those they see as less than.54ab249c3e46f_preview-300

And that’s exactly what has happened in TUSD. The board majority changed 4 years ago and brought Dr. H.T. Sanchez to Tucson, a young Tejano who speaks great Spanish and is understanding of the needs of the Latino community (which makes up over 70% of the district today). This gave our community hope (just like Obama did for so many Americans of color).

That hope was short lived. People like Jim Click made sure of it by throwing thousands of dollars at the local school board election last year, ensuring that the mexicano with a physical disability, a man who understands first hand the struggles of disadvantaged youth, was not re-elected to the board, breaking up the board majority that put the young Tejano in a leadership position.

The truth is that regardless of whether or not you liked Dr. Sanchez, he did an amazing job as superintendent. I believe that if it were not for the fact that he is a Spanish speaking Latino he would have been praised for the work he’s done at TUSD. He did work twice as hard and accomplished twice as much as any super before him, but it still wasn’t enough.

TUSD has been under court supervision for over 40 years because of their failure to close the achievement gap and provide equity and equal opportunities to students of color. Those in control of the district over those 40 years have insured that it stays that way, oppressing people of color while suppressing their voices.

When they seen that this young Tejano threatened to change that by giving voice to those in the district that historically had none while uniting parents and teachers across the district, they had to do something to put a stop to it.

At the board meeting last night I heard parents, teachers, pastors, officials from Pima Community College and even the vice president of the Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce all speak on behalf of Sanchez and what he’s accomplished. It had no effect on the 3 white board members that have all but called for a burning of Sanchez on the stake. The 3 white board members on a mission to return the power to those upholding the status quo with one goal in mind: cause so much chaos and disruption in TUSD to insure the failure of one of the state’s largest public school districts.

While these 3 white board members claim they serve all children in the district the truth is that they are part of a much bigger plot to destroy public education and ensure that only certain kids receive quality education. By creating dysfunction in the district and pointing fingers internally they distract us from the real reason our public schools are failing our students: the nationwide attack on public education and the criminal under-funding of public schools on the state level. The only real threat Sanchez ever posed was that he was uniting people across the district to push back on this direct attack of public education.


LA DEMENCIA DE H.T. SANCHEZ: MATANDO LA ESPERANZA DE NIÑOS LATINOS EN TUSD

por Cesar Aguirre

Ayer mi hija Jasmine de dies años me pidió que le firmara el permiso para salir con su clase a un viaje al cine para ver la nueva película Hidden Figures. Se trata de 3 mujeres negras que fueron instrumento en el desarrollo del programa espacial de NASA durante la carrera a la luna.

Me gusta saber lo que miran y estudian mis hijas, asi que busque la película en el Internet y la vi (hasta con las banderas de derechos de autor en la pantalla).

Cuando mi hija se estaba alistando para la cama se dio cuenta que yo estaba mirando la película y me comento, “papi, vas arruinar la película para mí ¿Porque estas viendo la película?”

Le esplique que me ayuda a entender lo que esta estudiando para ir pensando en preguntas para poder provocar el dialogo. Esta ves no tuve que hacer ninguna pregunta para empezar esta conversación. Ella vio unos cuantos minutos de la película mientras que le peine el pelo y le hice su trenza. Antes de darme mis besos de buenas noches me pregunta, “¿porque los hombres todavía nos tratan así? Todavía piensan que las mujeres estáns hechas nomas para limpiar y cocinar. Y cuando una mujer muestra que es muy buena para otras cosas como baloncesto, siempre dicen cosas como, solo fue suerte es porque te dejamos ganar.

Siendo padre de dos Chican@s jovenes, que son brillantes y bellas, mi corazón se rompió. Sentí que ella misma estaba cuestionando sus propias habilidades por las vistas de esta sociedad.

Tuve que recordarla que ella puede lograr cualquier objetivo en que se enfoque. También tuve que ser honesto y dejarla saber que porque ella es mujer, y es latina, que va tener que trabajar dos veces mas duro y realizar el doble que los hombres para ser reconocida y apreciada por sus habilidades, igual que las mujeres en la película.

Aunque hemos visto muchos avances en los derechos civiles, sabemos que todavía nos falta mucho para llegar a donde debemos. Hoy es fácil saber cuanto nos falta, ay nomas ay que fijarnos en la casa blanca. Trump es un efecto directo del odio y la cólera agitada en aquellos que sienten que están perdiendo el control de “su” país en las manos de aquellos que ven como menos.

Y lo mismo ha pasado en TUSD. La mayoría de la mesa directiva cambio hace 4 años y pudieron traer al Dr. Sanchez a Tucson. Es un Tejano joven que habla español muy bien y entiende las necesidades de la comunidad latina (que son mas de 70% de los estudiantes del distrito). Esto dio esperanza al pueblo (igual como Obama a hecho para tantos Americanos de color).

Esa esperanza fue por poco tiempo. Personas como Jim Click se aseguraron de eso, tirando miles de dolares a las elecciones el año pasado para que perdiera el Mexicano con discapacidades físicas, un hombre que entiende personalmente las batallas de jóvenes perjudicado, y desbarataron la mayoría de la mesa directiva que puso el Tejano joven en su puesto de liderazgo.

Aunque quieras al Sanchez o no, la verdad es que a hecho un trabajo increíble como superintendente. Yo creo que si el no fuera un Latino que habla español muchos lo hubieran elogiado por el trabajo que ha hecho en TUSD. El a trabajado dos veces mas duro y realizo dos veces mas que cualquier otro superintendente antes que el, y todavía no fue bastante.

TUSD tiene mas de 40 años bajo de supervisión judicial porque no han podido mejorar la educación y proporcionar equidad e igualdad de oportunidades para los estudiantes de color. Los que han controlado el distrito por esos 40 años han asegurado que eso no cambie,oprimiendo la gente de color mientras silenciando sus voces.

Cuando se dieron cuenta que este Tejano joven quería cambiar eso, dando voz a los que históricamente no la han tenido y a la misma ves uniendo padres y maestros en todos lados del distrito, ellos tenían que hacer  algo para ponerle un alto.

En la junta de la mesa directiva de anoche escuche padres, maestros, pastores, oficiales del colegio Pima, y hasta la vicepresidenta de Tucson Metro Chamber of Commerce, todos apoyando a Sanchez y el trabajo que a realizado en est0s 4 años. No tuvo ningun effecto en los 3 miembros blancos de la mesa directiva que han atacado al Sanchez cada chanza que tienen. Los 3 miembros blancos que quieren regresar el poder a los que nos han oprimido por tanto tiempo con solo un objetivo en la mente: causar tanto caos y trastornos en TUSD para asegurar el fracaso de uno de los distritos escolares públicos más grandes del estado.

Mientras estos 3 miembros blancos de la mesa directiva reclaman que sirven todos los estudiantes del distrito la verdad es que ellos son parte de un plan mas grande para destruir la educación publica para asegurarse que solamente ciertos niños reciben educacion de calidad. Al crear disfunción en el distrito y al puntar dedos internamente nos distraen de la verdadera razón de que escuelas públicas están fallando a nuestros estudiantes: el ataque nacional contra la educación pública y el bajo financiación criminal de las escuelas públicas a nivel estatal. La única amenaza real que Sánchez planteó fue que estaba uniendo a la gente de todo el distrito para presionar contra este ataque directo de educación pública.

8 comments

  1. ESPERANZA B BEJARANO · · Reply

    Nice article and I’m also saddened by the way Dr. Sanchez was treated. However, the word “demencia del Dr. Sanchez..” is not the appropriate word in Spanish for demise. Could it be “demise, renuncia, destitucion?

  2. Tucson Watcher · · Reply

    I talked with a group of high school students last night, some of whom were Latino. I asked them what they thought about Dr. Sanchez and what happened. They didn’t know who he was. After explanation, they were asked what would make their education better. The instant response was “Keep our teachers from quitting. Get us real teachers.” I asked the Latinos if Dr. Sanchez was a role model for them to keep them in school. Their response was, “That’s our parents’ job.”

  3. Yovannah · · Reply

    As a parent of a TUSD student, I have had to exercise my right to move my child to a different classroom after having gone a whole semester without a teacher. TUSD has never been worse with their situation of loosing teachers as a result of low pay and not enough support from the district in solving behavioral issues, amongst many other issues, affecting teachers safety and work environment. I do know my rights, unlike many parents, especially lower income latinos who saddly think they have no options. I exercised my right to get my son to not loose on his education. I have seen tons of angry parents, unhappy teachers, students who are failing, ask Palo Verde High School Students for example, ask them all what they think of Sanchez. I speak for all those who don’t have a voice. Who are you speaking for? I support the decision of those ‘white board members,’ they are more in tune with the discrepancies in TUSD. Tax payer dollars need to start being used wisely not frivolously to have a guy smile and greet people for almost half a million dollars a year. Shaking hands at school events should not cost us that much and should not be more important that the support that teachers need in the classroom, and children’s education. Having been a teacher I belive that if one school is failinh, we are all failing.

  4. I am a Chicana. I rarely align myself with Hicks and Stegeman, but on this action I agree. Behind the pat on the back and a smile, HT hid his mishandling of monies that should have gone toward teachers and the classroom. The fact that as his salary and bonuses grew the student enrollment declined. Did you listen to the parents from Utterback? Have the seen the deterioration of Palo Verde? There are two reasons people to into public service, to serve others or to serve themselves. HT falls into the second category and Adelita, Cam and Kristel lock-stepped behind whatever he said. The “Tunnel of Love” was a smoke screen for the many administrators who jumped ship. They knew what was going on and wanted no part of it. Non-transparency, cronyism, nepotism, retaliation, and bullying does not make for an inviting business culture. This tone all set by the former superintendent.

  5. jaabani · · Reply

    Please watch vaxxed from cover up to Catastrophe– protect you kids and yourself . Vaxxed has played twice in Tucson it’s available in Spanish subtitles. This is a very important true documentary. I pray you watch and share with your families . With respect 🙏🏻✨❤️LYnn atucson Mom

  6. HT Sanchez Did Himself In- He is NO hero! · · Reply

    Cesar Aguirre:

    Aqui estoy otra ves.

    South Tucson has been my home much longer than your few years of living off the charity of Casa Maria/Catholic Church. I had lots of compassion and even respect for you when you first made Casa your home with your girls. But now I see you as a user who allows himself to be used only to gain status. I am here to tell you that there are many here within our own South Tucson and also in Tucson who have your number: ZERO.

    You so desperately want to be el fachero de South Tucson. Get real! You are a bigot and for that matter I think you are an exploitive male chauvinist. Do you think that we do not notice that when we have community meetings you are never around to help with the “women’s work” and that pot-luck work is a domain for the female gender? Que piensas? Don’t be such an obvious hypocrite.
    And vato, do YOU really think we do not notice how slick you think you are when you flirt with the pretty chicas while you raise your voice and arm while trying to be a real activist? It is just more oink- oink behavior. The time when these behaviors were part of our cultura are over vato. You’re no legit activist. You are a pawn. Come on, you know it as well as many of us know it. Me das tanto lastima.

    I know of many of us who have heard you repeat what HT Sanchez said over a year and a half ago- that he did not have to sit next to a white person to learn. You have repeated it so many times- over and over again- and it is wrong. You have convinced Ochoa parents that the statement is the bottom line to desegregation. But for those of us who have taken the time to learn more about desegregation and not just make demands from TUSD based on its court order based on nonsense, we see right through your nonsense. Integration of students has nothing to do with gaining intelligence or learning from someone of another race just because someone sits next to a person of another race. Your hero, HT Sanchez, you know, the one who just left the District with his tail between his legs, had such little knowledge about desegregation that he poisoned you with his ignorance and bigotry. But he was the big jefe from TUSD who gave you the time of day. And for that you owed him so much. You sold us out. You sold our kids out. I think the term is VENDIDO.

    You constantly make negative and insulting comments about whites, but in your isolationist- see nothing but brown head- it is perfectly OK for you to make these statements because you see yourself as the victim; the oppressed one; the homeless one; the struggling one. You even play off being a single dad. Single women have been doing single parenting forever and they do not paint themselves as being great! How long are you going to stay stuck in your victim role? How long are you going to live in housing provided by Casa Maria/Catholic Church? Charity should not be abused. You pretend to be an activist but any activist worth anything does not put themselves in a position of owing anyone. The way you have set it up, you owe Brian Flagg and the long line of people who he owes.

    You spout hate which is obvious to a lot of people. Is this what you are teaching your children? Regardless of what you say to them, what you actually model makes a much bigger dent. It is interesting that when HT makes a racist comment or when you repeat it, there are no consequences to the unconcealed bigotry. Yet, Rachael Sedgwick made a flippant comment in response to a person who works in Oracle and chooses to make his money off condemning pale people as white supremacists and you decide you have the right to judge. Not so fast!
    My God Cesar, you were so taken in by HT Sanchez that you never questioned why his administration had cut the Ochoa budget by over $50,000 last year. You believe that the principal that is now in place as an “interim” is perfectly all right for our kids. You protest testing of students without understanding that there have to be achievement outcomes. You ignore how Ochoa is at the bottom of the barrel in academic achievement but refuse to understand that without a consistent experienced principal and without a fully qualified faculty, the students are not receiving what they should. Pulling the kids out of their classroom instruction to go to the Reggio studios during the day contradicts all good educational practices but you and those who follow you think that Reggio is the shit. I think Reggio gets in the way of academic instruction and if our parents were empowered to understand the value of actual quality classroom instruction they would not be backing you.

    I think what bothers me the most about your hateful actions is how blatantly they contradict any of the core teachings of the Church and Christ. It is time for you to grow up and get real. Be a real man. Stop playing the racist card every time you turn around. If you were interested enough to get the facts you would read and listen enough to know that HT Sanchez was confronted with legitimate documentation of his infractions. Rather than take the consequence of an improvement plan he opted to leave TUSD like the coward that he is. He was a dishonest person and he played you like a fiddle. Fess up to this fact. Then maybe you will be able to move on as your own person and not Flagg’s chump; not HT’s puppet; not Adelita’s “front” for her sorry and empty claim of racism. HT is gone because of his own actions and not because he is Mexicano. Hell, when he was anywhere east of Swan he transformed himself into an elitist snob.

    As I did the last time I wrote you, I have used a friend’s email address. I do not really fear you but I do not want the hassle of having to deal with the collective crap from you, Flagg, the Grijalvas, Foster and the rest.

  7. Hopeful in the Board's ability to hire someone worth a damn · · Reply

    HT Sanchez is no hero. His wife and children are scared of him; his employees are scared of him; his past employees are scared of him. He is dishonest and played many in Tucson like a fiddle. From the “pale white population”
    That desperately wants to see desegregation and the appropriate actions taken under court order to get Tucson darker population on equal footing in educational opportunities…Tucson is better without this awful, selfish, self serving lying POS that just bailed. Your children. ALL children now have a chance. Thank you to Rachel Sedgwick. Take this from someone who knows him personally….YOU ALL DID YOIRSELVES A FAVOR. Your children now have opportunity. All your children.

  8. Cesar Aguirre Is NOT a CREDIBLE Voice for South Tucson · · Reply

    Cesar,
    You are such a drama queen and such a fool. The first time I read your post, I could not bear to respond. I was too upset with your own kind of inherent racism and your blind loyalty to Sanchez, who somehow made you and Brain Flagg feel more important in our community (South Tucson) than you are in reality. Then I forgot to get back to it once I had cleared my emotions of your B.S. But I did not return to it until I found a post-it to someday attend to your lies.
    Here are some facts that I hope stand out to Casa’s blog readers, should they ever visit this post again:
    Cam Juarez lost because he ran a lousy campaign and because he was caught taking a $5,000 contribution check from a multi-million dollar TUSD contractor. Since he was caught, he then promised to give the money back. He lied. He never returned the money. Jim Click and other contributors to oust Foster and Juarez are not responsible for Cam’s stupidity.
    SCPC was run as a wing of the administration. It is defunct and has not recommended anything of value for students for decades. It has not functioned independently and it not empowered parents in the last decade. The former SCPC leader was much like you. She took direction from HT Sanchez.
    The reason that TUSD is still under a 40 year desegregation court order is because it has never complied with the Court. You and Flagg did nothing but support Sanchez non-compliance and everyone knows that you colluded with him in having parents sign petitions and letters addressed to the US Federal Court. I was at a meeting and saw this happen.
    Your condemnation of three Board members for being white is racist. You are racist. I have heard you say a lot of racist things. You do not represent our community and I wish you would stop voicing off, as if you do.

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