A Texas principal named Amy Lacey allegedly banned students from speaking Spanish at a middle school in Hempstead, which is about an hour outside of Houston. In response, the school board proposed today that the principal’s contract should not be renewed, effectively terminating her job.
In a related report by The Inquisitr, after Whole Foods workers claimed speaking Spanish got them suspended the company responded by getting rid of the English-only policy.
The whole incident supposedly started when Lacey made announcement over the school’s intercom telling students that speaking Spanish while on campus would not be tolerated. This school policy was apparently created to prevent disruptions during class time.
This quickly became an issue because over 50 percent of the student population is Hispanic and Waller County has one of the fastest growing Hispanic communities in the nation. One student named Yedhany Gallegos says she speaks Spanish as her first language. When she complained about the policy she was told if she violated it she should “get out” of the classroom.
Augustin Pinedo, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens, says the ban on speaking Spanish was essentially racist:
“When you start banning aspects of ethnicity or cultural identity, it sends the message that the child is not wanted: ‘We don’t want your color. We don’t want your kind.’ They then tend to drop out early.”
They also point out how it’s common in other countries for people to be multi-lingual. At the school district board meeting a list of the Americans Founding Fathers who spoke multiple languages was read alout.
But some Hempstead residents like Robert Rosenkranz disagree with that assessment. They claim that learning English is a primary part of assimilating into life in the United States:
“All my grandparents are from the Czech Republic. The first thing they did was learn to speak English so they could get ahead in this country.”
Ever since the decision by the school board was made to fire Amy Lacey, the district’s superintendent, Delma Flores-Smith, says she’s seen strangers watching her house and taking pictures. She even says her garbage was searched and vandals trashed her yard. Other strange incidences include vandals damaging the brakes of schools buses and one time the remains of a dead cat were found at the school. Some people have compared these incidences to the activities of the Ku Klux Klan from the past and call for the FBI to investigate them as hate crimes.
Do you think it was fair for principal Amy Lacey to create a school policy that banned speaking Spanish during class?