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Well it took long enough.

Postby Madison » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:02 am

Seems this will finally get decided once and for all:

Spanish at school translates to suspension
Controversy caused by Kansas City incident reflects national debate

By T.R. Reid

Updated: 6:36 a.m. ET Dec. 9, 2005
KANSAS CITY, Kan. - Most of the time, 16-year-old Zach Rubio converses in clear, unaccented American teen-speak, a form of English in which the three most common words are "like," "whatever" and "totally." But Zach is also fluent in his dad's native language, Spanish -- and that's what got him suspended from school.

"It was, like, totally not in the classroom," the high school junior said, recalling the infraction. "We were in the, like, hall or whatever, on restroom break. This kid I know, he's like, 'Me prestas un dolar?' ['Will you lend me a dollar?'] Well, he asked in Spanish; it just seemed natural to answer that way. So I'm like, 'No problema.' "

But that conversation turned out to be a big problem for the staff at the Endeavor Alternative School, a small public high school in an ethnically mixed blue-collar neighborhood. A teacher who overheard the two boys sent Zach to the office, where Principal Jennifer Watts ordered him to call his father and leave the school.

Watts, whom students describe as a disciplinarian, said she can't discuss the case. But in a written "discipline referral" explaining her decision to suspend Zach for 1 1/2 days, she noted: "This is not the first time we have [asked] Zach and others to not speak Spanish at school."

Since then, the suspension of Zach Rubio has become the talk of the town in both English and Spanish newspapers and radio shows. The school district has officially rescinded his punishment and said that speaking a foreign language is not grounds for suspension. Meanwhile, the Rubio family has retained a lawyer, who says a civil rights lawsuit may be in the offing.

National debate
The tension here surrounding that brief exchange in a high school hall reflects a broader national debate over the language Americans should speak amid a wave of Hispanic immigration.

The National Council of La Raza, a Hispanic advocacy group, says that 20 percent of the U.S. school-age population is Latino. For half of those Latino students, the native language is Spanish.

Conflicts are bursting out nationwide over bilingual education, "English-only" laws, Spanish-language publications and advertising, and other linguistic collisions. Language concerns have been a key aspect of the growing political movement to reduce immigration.


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Should students be allowed to speak Spanish at school?



"There's a lot of backlash against the increasing Hispanic population," said D.C. school board member Victor A. Reinoso. "We've seen some of it in the D.C. schools. You see it in some cities, where people complain that their tax money shouldn't be used to print public notices in Spanish. And there have been cases where schools want to ban foreign languages."

Some advocates of an English-only policy in U.S. schools say that it is particularly important for students from immigrant families to use the nation's dominant language.

California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (R) made that point this summer when he vetoed a bill authorizing various academic subjects to be tested in Spanish in the state's public schools. "As an immigrant," the Austrian-born governor said, "I know the importance of mastering English as quickly and as comprehensively as possible."

Hispanic groups generally agree with that, but they emphasize the value of a multilingual citizenry. "A fully bilingual young man like Zach Rubio should be considered an asset to the community," said Janet Murguia, national president of La Raza.



Personally, I can't wait to get this issue solved once and for all. B-)
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:11 am

He got suspended for saying "no problema?"

Is this real?
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:12 am

Sorry, forgot the link:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10372148/

It's real. ;-D
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Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Postby Coppermine » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:17 am

This is so strange, I just overheard something kind of relevent.

OK, there's this lady in the cubicle next to me. She's very stupid and is constantly having computer problems that aren't even problems at all. Her name is Cheryl and she is about 6 feet tall, near 40 years old and has huge, blonde 80's hair with way too much hairspray. She's excruciatingly annoying.

There's another woman in the office named [name changed] Juanita. Well, it seems that Cheryl called Juanita over to hear cubicle.

Cheryl: "I know that you speak Spanish and all" [said smugly]
Juanita: "Yeah Cheryl, that's the only language I know." [said sarcasticly]
Cheryl: "Really?"
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Postby WharfRat » Fri Dec 09, 2005 11:26 am

Well this is just stupid, trying to forbid someone to use their native language. It's one thing to make kids take ESL classes so they learn English; it's something else entirely to prevent them from using another language outside the classroom. Instead of the Thought Police, it's the Language Police. Everybody should have to learn English, but it shouldn't go beyond that reasonable expectation. :-t :-t
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:44 pm

I can see it now:

President of the United States: If you are unhappy with your country, come to ours!
Hispanic: Si. Gracias.
Prez: Oh, that's right, you don't speak English. Guess we should change up the country to help you out, huh?
Hispanic: Si.
Prez: Well that sound superb my friend! From this point forward, in order to teach American children in schools, all teachers must speak the following languages:

Spanish
Russian
Chinese
Japanese
French
Italian
Korean

Oh yeah, and

English.

From this point forward we will also send home every school announcement, in all of the languages listed above. Trees be damned! Costs be damned! We've invited people into the country and now they refuse to learn the language spoken in this country. We have to cater to them!

*Note--Additional languages can, and will be added as the groups speak up. We cannot expect anyone to learn the language we speak in America, especially if they live here!


What a great country! ;-7



Now before anyone goes nuts, yes, I was being pretty sarcastic, but the points are still true.

Let's start with the story posted though.......The kid is in an alternative school, which for those who don't know, kids who cause tons of problems are sent to the alternative schools where the dicipline level is much higher because they cannot follow the rules in normal schools like normal kids. This kid, and others, were told not to speak Spanish in school. What did he do? Spoke Spanish at school anyway. This is precisely what the Alternative schools are for. Teaching kids that if they do exactly what they are told not to do, it results in punishment. If I tell my son not to do something, and he does it anyway, he's well aware there's a spanking coming, so he doesn't do whatever it is I tell him not to do. Shame all parents can't teach their kids to simply do what they are told. This kid did exactly what he was told not to do, so he got in trouble for it. This is no story.

This kid does speak English, so the bigger picture doesn't really apply to him, but here's some thoughts on the bigger picture.

Now, as to allowing Spanish to be spoken in school, where do we draw the lines? Several things involved here. Spanish is ok, but French isn't? Spanish and French is ok, but not Japanese? We cannot expect every single teacher out there to speak every single possible language, but if we allow the languages to be spoken, then it's a huge security risk for teachers not to understand what's being said. Only allowing the language spoken in America, in American schools, makes the most sense, and yes, that would be English.

We also cannot cater to each and every single language by sending home all school correspondence in every language known to man. My son's school already doubles their expenses by sending everything home in both English and Spanish. Even the teachers find that pathetic. Where does it stop though? Pretty soon, we'll be sending 10 copies of everything home all in different languages. Where exactly is the money for all of that supposed to come from? It's already doubled due to the English and Spanish, how much more in taxes should we pay in order to cater to everyone?

Bottom line: English is spoken in America. If you live in America, show a little appreciation and respect, by learning the language spoken in America. There are tons of programs and groups where people can be taught absolutely free of charge. All they have to do is put in the time to learn it. Not too much to ask for the opportunity the country provides for it's citizens.

EDIT: Oh, and just to nip some of the rebuttals in the bud, I lived in Japan from ages 1-6 (my father was in the Air Force), and yes, I spoke as fluent Japanese as any 6 year old kid could. My parents did as well, were the ones who taught me, and explained why I needed to know how to speak it. I also learned English, but that was simply because we knew we were coming back to the United States.
Last edited by Madison on Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:00 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Postby bronxxbomber » Fri Dec 09, 2005 12:57 pm

Hey, this is America people should all speak English. If not because it's the dominant language, but because more opportunities are available to you. Growing up, neither of my parents spoke English at home to me, my brother, or sisters but they made damn sure we spoke proper english outside. They both went to American colleges after coming here and mastered the language. Not to go on, but the point is learning English means better jobs in this country.
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Postby acsguitar » Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:01 pm

Um does that mean If I were to practice spanish in HighSchool that I would be suspended.

This might be the stupidist thing in the world. You can't tell someone not to speak a lenguage.

This is super racist IMO
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Postby Madison » Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:10 pm

acsguitar wrote:Um does that mean If I were to practice spanish in HighSchool that I would be suspended.

This might be the stupidist thing in the world. You can't tell someone not to speak a lenguage.

This is super racist IMO


Keeping a school safe is racist? :-? Please expound on that. :-)

I see it as two kids speaking in a language the teachers don't understand, which is a security risk, since teachers cannot be expected to speak and understand every language on the planet. A couple of kids speaking in a foreign language could be planning anything from little league baseball, to blowing up the school. Columbine anyone? Please explain how it's racist to limit the language spoken in American schools to the language spoken in America.

Would you say the same if they were speaking Kurdi?

While not nearly as pointed as the Kurdi question above, are all online poker rooms racist? You're only allowed to chat in English, and not a single one of them is based in the United States. It's to stop collusion at the tables, but according to your extremely broad definition of racism, that would qualify, no?
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Sick of those who feel self-entitled.
Sick of those who are hypocrites.
Yes doctor, an army is forming.
Yes doctor, there will be a war.
Yes doctor, there will be blood.....
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Postby acsguitar » Fri Dec 09, 2005 1:22 pm

This is not a security risk..geez. Comeon this is extremely stupid...This country is so scared that we won't let people speak another lenguage. Just sound dumb to me.
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