Principal tries to ban Spanish in class at TX high school

The School Yard

POSTED: Tuesday, December 3, 2013 - 11:33am

UPDATED: Wednesday, August 27, 2014 - 11:20am

A Texas middle school is under fire after students say they were banned from speaking Spanish in class. The students say their principal announced the rule last month over the intercom, Drew Karedes reports.

Inside the walls of Hempstead Middle School, a language controversy is brewing.

Tiffani Resurez, 8th Grader, "There's one teacher that said, 'If you speak Spanish in my class, I'm gonna write you up.'"

These four students say their principal's announcement, banning them from speaking Spanish in class, has given teachers and fellow students a hall pass to discriminate Yedhany Gallegos, 8th Grader, "She was like, 'No speaking Spanish.' She told me like that. I was like, 'That's my first language.' She said, 'Well, you can get out."

A letter sent home by the Superintendent says, "Neither the district, or any campus, has any policy prohibiting the speaking of Spanish."

These students feel that has not been made entirely clear at their school, Kiara Lozano, 6th Grader, "People don't want to speak it no more and don't want to get caught speaking it because they're going to get in trouble."

Parents, like Cynthia Zamora, believe the school is not getting to the root of the problem. She wants to know why the "No Spanish" announcement was ever made in the first place, "I was very surprised that she would even go to that level."

Especially considering about 50 percent of the students that enrolled at the school are Hispanic, Tiffani Resurez, 8th Grader, "It's wrong for them to do that. It's wrong for them to tell us to not speak Spanish at our school."

These classmates grew up speaking Spanish at home and they say it often comes as second nature when they're talking to each other at school, Kiara Lozano

6th Grader, "I'm not scared. I'm gonna keep speaking my language. That's my first language, and I'm gonna keep on doing it."

The principal has been placed on paid administrative leave while the district investigates.

A spokeswoman for Hempstead ISD released a statement saying in part, "The district is committed to efficiently and effectively resolving this matter with as little disruption to our students and their learning environment as possible."

Comments News Comments

Cannot believe teachers and educators would be so narrow minded.

Was the ban an attempt to teach students to speak English correctly? She should have banned bad attitudes as well, and toss in a few lessons about respect. I understand 50% are hispanic but seriously after listening to those girls speak I can understand the ban. Although they are young they should at least be able to communicate in an appropriate manner. If corporal punishment is still allowed school, it needs to be introduced to those young "ladies" representing the school, how embarrassing.

While mastery of the English language should not be optional in American, banning the use of langauges other than English promotes linguistic genocide! English language is not banned in classrooms abroad, so foreign languages should not be banned here! There is nothing wrong with requiring students to speak in English during instruction, but the speakers (not the teachers) should decide which language to use in conversation. This is ridiculous!

Never mind Spanish. How about some English grammar?

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