So much for encouraging kids to be themselves. A Texas principal banned Hispanic students from speaking Spanish. The reason? Reportedly to "prevent disruptions." Never mind the fact that this is Texas and that 50 percent of the student body is Hispanic. But there is another reason this may be one of the most asinine rules a school administrator has ever instituted.
Principal Amy Lacey announced that no Spanish was to be spoken in the classrooms over the intercom. When one student protested that it was her first language, a teacher reportedly responded, "Well, you can get out!"
Some students are so fearful of getting caught, they won't utter a word in Spanish. Kids and parents say this is a blatant form of discrimination and it's hard to dispute that. It's also incredibly destructive. These days, kids are confronted with so many things that make them feel bad about themselves. Airbrushed images of models and actors make them feel they aren't pretty enough. The country's obsession of designer labels they can't afford makes them feel inadequate and poor. Now they are being told they cannot even embrace their culture. They are not allowed to be themselves. This is so wrong.
How is chattering in Spanish any more disruptive than gabbing away in English? Students shouldn't be doing that during class in any language. Perhaps she should have made a general rule against talking during class -- not make it language-specific.
Fortunately, parental and community reaction has been strong enough to compel the school board to put the principal on paid leave. And they have issued a statement that they don't support any such policy. Let's just hope the damage done to these kids is repairable.
Do you think there is any justification for what this principal did?