Garland ISD Adds Mexican-American Studies to Social Studies

National Hispanic Heritage Month in a web banner
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Amidst National Hispanic Heritage Month, the Garland Independent School District decided to honor the influence and contributions of Latin Americans to the United States by integrating Mexican-American studies into its social studies course. The district is also adding African-American studies.

“Our school is very diverse,” Michael Arreola, principal of North Garland High School, said. He explained that the population of the school is made up of more than 50% Hispanic students, 20% African American, [and] 25% Asian American. “We feel like if we can make things more relevant to them, then they’re really going to embrace it,” he stated.

Usually, tenth-grade students in Texas take World History, but this year they have more options. Garland ISD now allows its sophomores to choose Mexican-American or African-American Studies instead.

Teachers explain the new courses, saying that they help students get engaged while still gaining knowledge of history. DeMedia Brown, a social studies teacher at North Garland High School, believes the new introductions are helpful in keeping the students engaged. The new studies allow students to discuss topics that hold their interest, such as Mexico’s independence from Spain or the Revolution.

A tenth-grade student at North Garland High School, Diego Machuca, spoke highly of the opportunity to choose her social studies course. She went on to state her excitement to learn more about her ancestry or more of where her family comes from.

All seven high schools in Garland ISD offer their tenth graders a choice between African American Studies, Mexican American Studies, and World History as their social studies credit.

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