Arizona Official Threatens To Cut Education Funding If Hip-Hop Lyrics Remain In Classroom Teaching

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The American rapper KRS-One pictured live on stage at the German outdoor festival Splash Festival 2013. Germany 2013.

The outgoing head of Arizona’s Education Department has taken a bold stance against the inclusion of lyrics from Rage Against the Machine and KRS-One being used in public school classrooms in Tuscon, Arizona.

After helping pass a law in 2010 that helped ban a portion of Mexican-American studies teachings in the state, former Senator John Huppenthal is set to leave his current office shortly. Before his departure though, Huppenthal recently wrote a strongly-worded letter complaining that a course titled “An Introduction to Hip Hop Presented by Master Teacher, KRS-One” taught in the state is in violation of a state law prohibiting the advocating of ethnic solidarity according to Huffington Post.

The site also quoted a former Tuscon teacher reacting to Huppenthal’s last-ditch effort in his current state office.

“I think we’re getting a really clear view into the paranoia of the leadership of this state,” Curtis Acosta, a former teacher in Tuscon said. “They pulled out these inflammatory quotes to scare people. The same thing’s happening here, where you’re seeing a picking apart of novels or books or unit plans to build a case rather than to see it in its holistic environment.”

Arizona’s education department has issues threats to cut funding to Tuscon’s public schools if the so-called offensive material isn’t removed from the courses by early March. Meanwhile, local Tuscon officials have refused to back down and are holding out for Huppenthal’s replacement, Diane Douglas, in seeking an alternative solution.

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