Precious Knowledge

Imagine this…

You are a high school student. You never even liked school and thought the education system was somehow against you. College is nothing you really think about especially because it seems that people don’t think you can or should go to College. In Tucson, Arizona, there is a 50% dropout rate of Latino and Latina students.

Then suddenly, you meet this teacher who changes everything. You find yourself going to school everyday just because of this inspirational teacher. You can relate to a class and have this safe space where you are able to express yourself and your beliefs and opinions with no hard feelings against you. Then, you begin realizing who you are. You have better goals for yourself than ever before and you know that you are somebody. You are worth fighting for.

Precious Knowledge is more than an eye-opening movie. It’s empowering and emotional. The fact that Ethnic Studies is not part of American History is beyond crazy. We have been fighting for Civil Rights for a long time and because we are still fighting for it, is sad. In the state of Arizona, the State believes that “ethnic studies should be abolished” and Ethnic Studies is teaching students to hate. They accuse students who are taking Ethnic Studies to be racist… who new that learning more about their own culture is being a racist? If anything, Ethnic Studies helps students find out who they are and how their ancestors came to the United States. There are so much other benefits when taking Ethnic Studies. I myself am taking some Ethnic Studies classes and I just not learn about how my parents and grandparents and ancestors migrated here and what they had to go through, but I learn about the laws and rules and regulations and how they were treated or mistreated. I also learn a lot about myself and for once I feel connected to some history since I never really felt connected to U.S History. And thinking about what is going on now, I feel that in some States, we are not going forward, but backwards. If you see that kids are improving and the dropout rate is obviously decreasing and you see a sudden increase of students showing up to school and having an interest in education, why take something that precious away from them? Why? What were these students doing wrong when they were just trying to better themselves?

The Arizona government was having major issues and somehow think that Racial Minority groups are taking over the world. When one Senator came to visit an Ethnic Studies class, he believed that Ethnic Studies is not supportive of American History because there was no picture of Ben Franklin or the Founding Fathers. Instead, he saw pictures of beautiful people of color that can actually relate to other students. They accused the Raza program of having evil ideas and being distasteful. They also believe that students wearing brown shirts, bandanas and sunglasses arm in arm was life threatening. These students were not threatening anyone. It’s called Resistance. They are using resistance to protect their teachers, the future students, their families, values and culture. And ever since SB1108, you see how valuable Ethnic Studies really is. Students and teachers alike take it to heart that Culture and Ethnic Studies may never be taught again until we get it back. Kids and their teachers will go so far to protect Ethnic Studies and to keep teaching Ethnic Studies in their school that they will run 110 miles in 115 degrees weather, they will risk being threatened and even physically threatened, they will risk being sent to prison and they will risk living in a racist State. And anywhere else in the world where Ethnic Studies will be banned, I am sure students and teachers will do the same.

I feel honored to have watched Precious Knowledge and I am so glad that this movie was made to show people what is going on in certain parts of the world. It was so emotional that some audience members cried when they met the guest speaker who even tears every time she sees this movie. It was more than an eye-opener. It was empowering. This is a must-see movie for one race- the Human Race.

Imagine this…

You are a High School graduate. You are thankful to have had the best teachers and Ethnic Studies classes. Unfortunately, you know that your younger brothers, sisters, cousins and future children will have to struggle in school because classes that teach good morals, values and culture may not be taught. College may not be an option since the dropout rate for racial minorities is 50%. What would you do?


4 thoughts on “Precious Knowledge

  1. Harnew says:

    But how could you say your sisters, brothers and cousins will be part of that drop out rate? Especially if they have the drive to succeed no matter what. Additionally, school is over-rated. Anyone with passion, ambition and a desire to succeed will make it (whatever their definition of making it is) no matter what.

    • I never said that they will be part of that drop out rate. I said that they would struggle in school since the dropout rate is 50% and everyone surrounding them does not have the drive to succeed. The Ethnic Studies classes and or Raza program helped kids succeed and since it is gone and banned to teach in schools in Arizona, what will inspire those kids to want to go to school? I agree that “anyone with passion, ambition and a desire to succeed will make it (whatever their definition of making it is) no matter what.” But if you have seen this film, you would understand that some kids have that struggle finding that within themselves because of the Education system. I disagree with you that school is over-rated. I was one of those kids who did struggle in school until I found people who cared about me and my future and found that I can make a difference in the world and in myself.

      • Harnew says:

        Well I’m not getting into a back and forth. Just my way of letting you know I discovered your blog and felt compelled enough to drop a comment. You’re welcome

  2. Francesca says:

    I saw this movie too and loved it! This film reminded me of the protests that took place in San Francisco State University in the late 60’s and early 70’s where students, staff, faculty, community members stood together in unity to fight for the establishment of the College of Ethnic Studies, relevant education, and other community concerns. It is incredible to see young students fight for their rights and fight for education that they feel is relevant to them.

    School systems of America were built and formed for upper class, white, Anglo Saxon, protestant men. As there has been a shift of multi-racial and multi-ethnic communities in schools, it only makes sense that there should be also be a shift in our society’s education. One’s learning experience is ever flowing thus our education systems should reflect this philosophy and evolve to fit students learning styles. Education should be free… Free to learn what one wants… free of the falsehoods that I grew up learning…
    Unfortunately, not all children come from inspirational, creative enriching environments therefore schools should provide that enriching environment that best allows a child to feel inspired to learn. To the comment above, I disagree that “school is overrated.” I also disagree to the comments that I hear from others who say, “School is not for everyone.” I believe that school and higher education is for everyone and is there when you are ready. Instead of obtaining an education, one must take claim their education and be in charge of their learning experience.

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