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  • Court rules 'Talking while Spanish' grounds for expulsion at Kansas school

Comments Aug 17, 2008 9:03 am

How can a Spanish speaker, using Spanish, bully someone who doesn't understand what is being said? I don't really care what is being said about me, unless I hear it and understand it. And it is perfectly possible to look threatening (stand over someone, make a face) and still say something nice--and vice versa! Which is bullying?




Reply to at 9:03 am Aug 17, 2008 6:28 pm

Father Thomas Leland said: "The unifying element in this case was the English language, because it's the common denominator among the students, teachers and administrators."


In my opinion, respect for one another should be the common denominator.


Now with foreign languages banned, the next step presumably is the banning of non-standard English. Or figure Father Thomas and the blessed Sisters of St. Anne's trying to understand the street-talk which many of today's kids and juveniles resort to.


And just as I am writing this, I am starting to wonder whether foreign languages are taught at St. Anne's. This might get pretty awkward now...

Reply to at 6:28 pm Aug 27, 2008 12:20 pm

Are we forgetting that many of our forebears who came to this country from somewhere else-you fill in the somewhere else, did not speak English either. Many of them never learned it well if at all. However, their children did learn English in addition to their parent's mother tongue.  I am personally acquainted with many Hispanic families. The parents who came here from other countries have difficulty with English just like many other immigrants. Their children, educated here, are completely bilingual. The xenophopic attitude I see in the other replies to this thread scares me.  Being bilingual where I live-near Houston TX- is an advantage. If you look at newspaper employment ads, many will either require English-Spanish speakers or it is a plus.      The rabid "patriotism" displayed is not real patriotism. Don't forget where YOU came from!


Reply to at 12:20 pm Sep 8, 2008 11:21 pm

America's current spasm of Xenophobia is thinly-disguised as patriotism while, in reality, is nothing more than Us-vs.-Them (In-group vs. Out-group).  One's language derives from one's heritage culture.  New immigrants learn English because it is clearly in their best interest to do so and, accordingly, English is the most widely taught second language in the USA.  No language is truly "foreign" in America, and I (by way of example) am not deficient on the Patriotism scale because I speak Portuguese.  Yet, Republicans devalue me as a citizen because I am not a native English-speaker and - worse yet - prefer to speak Portuguese to fellow Portuguese-speakers whenever the occasion arises.  Even in Philadelphia (where America began), there is a well-known "Philly cheesesteak" establishment - applauded for its patriotism - which refuses serve non-English speakers, not because of any "language barrier," but because a customer's value is defined by his/her speech. 

Why are contemporary Americans so frightened by immigrants from non-English-speaking cultures?  It all boils down to Us-vs.-Them -- and never forget that "Us" is the In-group in this country.



Reply to at 11:21 pm Jan 7, 2009 12:05 pm

"How can a Spanish speaker, using Spanish, bully someone who doesn't understand what is being said?"

Barbara, my kids go to a public school in southern California which runs about half hispanic.  For whatever reason, by middle school, there are gangs formed, not with weapons but using personal intimidation, and they are all hispanic, every one of them.  And they prey on my "Euro-American" kids (descended from families that learned English within a generation and lost the ability to converse with their grandmothers -- Polish, German, German Jewish, Welsh, Scot, and a few actual English).  (I don't know what the playground guard teacher on duty is doing, but there's one of them and several hundred kids, so I suspect there is just not enough supervision to combat them.)

I would never consider my kids fluent in Spanish (they're about up to "Uno, dos, tres"), but they sure know every Mexican swear word and insult word, both to recognize it and also to know what it means and how to use it.

And, with despite some setbacks in the bilingualism movement here in California, I am now expecting Spanish to be removed from the department of *Foreign* Languages, and given its own department, parallel to the English Department.  I expect within 5-10 years that California schools will be compelled, due to 14th amendment reasons, etc., to provide Spanish spelling, Spanish grammar, Spanish literature,etc. as a completely equivalent and valid curriculum in lieu of the English track, and to modify the high school exit exam to be taken in a choice of language.

This is part of a large-scale pay-back program for the (English-speaking) US 160 years ago who attacked Mexico and siezed what is now the US south-west.  The Indians held California for several thousand years, the Spanish held California for 50 years, and the Mexicans 25.  The US has held it for 160 years (twice the Spanish & Mexicans combined), but some how there are new immigrants (mostly illegal now, or 2nd/3rd generation descendants of naturalized illegal immigrants) who are claiming that the inherent character of California is Spanish and/or Mexican, and that it's time for the whole state to adopt their heritage as its own.

Balderdash!  (or its Mexican equivalent)

Dana Point, California

Reply to at 12:05 pm