"It has come to our attention that February is considered Black History Month," read the memo from Governor Brewer's desk. "Even though it is the shortest month of the year, we cannot afford such divisiveness in our state."
The declaration expanded what some critics already called worrisome interpretation of HB 2281. But attorney general Horne defended the Governor's decision. "HB 2281 clearly bans any programs 'designed primarily for a particular ethnic group; those that advocate ethnic solidarity instead of the treatment of pupils as individuals.' The month of February inarguably does just that."
While historians questioned how the state could do away with the month that includes holidays like President Abraham Lincoln's birthday, TUSD Superintendent Pedicone brushed off such concerns. "Were he alive today he'd probably be suing Arizona just like the feds are now. Is that really something to remember?" Romantics will be disappointed as well, the Superintendent dismissed Valentine's day as "an explicit attempt to elevate the profile of Catholicism above other religions."
How the state that already bucks at adhering to time zones will implement the new policy has school administrators scrambling. "We've taken Friere out of school libraries as requested," explains South Tucson principal Ferreti. "But we have a 12,000 student district; all of whom are carrying school issued calendars with 29 pages of February already printed in them. Are we to recall those like we did Shakespeare's The Tempest?"
What began as a bill against Tucson's acclaimed Mexican American Studies program, whose culturally relevant curriculum is credited with far above average graduation rates, has now led to state administrators combing through the calendar for other school-observed events that may "promote resentment toward a race or class of people." Pedicone said in a hearing on the measure held at Carter G. Woodson elementary that Tucson school district will be reviewing International Women's Day as well as Breast Cancer Awareness month among other observances to see if they fall within the scope of HB 2281.
The memo from the Governor concluded, "We're proud to be moving Arizona toward speaking with one voice. By reducing our calendar to only eleven months, not only do we end a long legacy of social strife by focusing on our differences instead of our similarities, we are saving the state millions of dollars and literally propelling Arizona into the future. Please change your watches to March 3rd."