Dallas ISD Adds More Mexican American Studies Classes After Growing Interest

DISD said more students continue to sign up for the elective

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Dallas Independent School District said it's expanded it's Mexican Americans Studies course after seeing an increased interest from students.

"This course basically talks not just about Mexican American History and the contributions that Mexican have done to American History but it talks about the culture and the lifestyle," said Luis Macias one of the teachers who teach the course at Trinidad "Trini" Garza Early College High School.

He said his class is based on class projects and critical thinking. Macias said he wants his students to understand the history, language, politics and where their music and art come from. Also to gain knowledge to better understand current social issues.

"I get to have more of a connection to my ancestors in a way," said Blanca Juarez who takes the class. "If I never had this class, I would have never known that we started as Aztecs."

DISD said last year 23 high school offered the elective class and this year it's 33.

"They understand a little bit more of who they are and anytime you have a better understanding of who you are, you can make sense of the world through a totally different lenses," said Shalon Bond, director of social studies for Dallas ISD.

The district said it's always looking for opportunities to develop student voices, especially in a district where the student population is about 70% Hispanic.

"This is not a typical or traditional history course, this is a course that gives students the opportunity to take a deeper dive into a culture," said Bond about the course that was approved by the Texas Education Agency two years ago.

Macias said it doesn't matter a person's background, everyone is welcome to join the class.

"We encourage anyone to take it because that's kind of how you stop division right, because people are divided because they don't know about another group of people, another culture and this is a good way to mend that and to understand them truly," Macias said.

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