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Teaching the Bracero Program in CA Schools

Posted: Apr 16, 2012


California state Senator Kevin de Leon's proposed bill SB 993 would make the Bracero Program part of the curriculum taught in Grades 7 and 12 in California's public schools. The program brought hundreds of thousands of immigrant farm workers from Mexico to work as seasonal agricultural laborers between 1942 and 1964. The workers still have not received the money they are owed.

An editorial in La Opinión discusses the importance of knowing our history, and argues that the Bracero Program should be taught in California schools because it is part of the state's history.

"Presenting history as black and white, victims and victimizers, may create compassion but it does not build the tools for critical analysis. At the same time, we do not believe that the best way to construct an educational curriculum is through a legislative puzzle in which each politician proposes a piece of history of interest," editors write.

"However, in this case, it appears to be the only course of action to get the history of the Bracero program into our state's textbooks," the editorial concludes. "History is full of lessons that should be taught in classrooms and schools so that subsequent generations don't make the the same mistakes as their predecessors."



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