Texas Principal Under Fire After Banning Students From Speaking Spanish [Video]
A Texas middle school is under fire and its principal has been placed on administrative leave after students came forward with assertions that they are no longer allowed to speak Spanish in class.
Hempstead Middle School is under investigation as student claim that principal Amy Lacey announced over the intercom that students must cease speaking Spanish in the school. Lacey may have waged war considering that roughly 50 percent of the student body is Hispanic.
According to CNN, four students have come forward to oppose the announcement, saying that it’s discrimination.
Yedhany Gallegos, 8th grader, said, “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.”
The students say that the announcement was made on November 12, and more than two weeks later a letter was sent to parents stating that “neither the district or any campus has any policy prohibiting the speaking of Spanish.”
“There’s one teacher that said, if you speak Spanish in my class, I’m going to write you up,” said 8th grader Tiffani Resurez. “It’s wrong for them to do that. It’s wrong for them to tell us to not speak Spanish at our school.”
To most of the Spanish-speaking students, Spanish is the primary language spoken at home and amongst their friends. 6th grader Kiara Lozano said, “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.”
CNN reported that Hempstead ISD spokeswoman Laurie Bettis released a written statement:
“We are continuing to ‘Create a Culture of Excellence’ which includes embracing all students of all cultural and diverse backgrounds. Our priorities are our students.
“The district has received allegations regarding this issue and the district is investigating the matter. At this time the administrator is on administrative leave with pay until the investigation is completed and appropriate action is determined. This is all we can say at this time as there is a pending investigation on this matter.
“The district is committed to efficiently and effectively resolving this matter with as little disruption to our students and their learning environment as possible.”