Don’t Raise Your Kids In Kansas

Ken AshfordRaceLeave a Comment

That’s my advice.  First of all, you’ve got this whole "intelligent design" thing that they’re trying to foist into the school curriculum.

Now there’s this, a kid gets suspended from school for speaking Spanish:

Kansas City, Kan., resident Lorenzo Rubio is upset that his son, Zach, was suspended from the Turner School District’s Endeaver School for two days.

He is even more upset that the reason Zach was suspended was not for fighting or causing trouble, but for speaking Spanish at lunchtime with his friends.

"My son called me on Monday and said he had been suspended for speaking Spanish," Rubio said. "I could not believe it. I went to the school and spoke to Mrs. (Jennifer) Watts and asked her if this was school policy. She told me, ‘no,’ but said ‘We are not in Mexico, we are not in Germany.’"

Watts refused to comment to The Kansan.

However, Bart Swartz, executive director of certified personnel for Turner, said Superintendent Bobby Allen was apprised of the situation immediately and met with Rubio.

"As soon as the superintendent found out the student was suspended, the superintendent notified the student that he could come back to school," Swartz said. "We do not stand behind suspending students for speaking foreign languages."

Zach and a friend were told not to speak Spanish in the lunch area on Monday. As he left to go to his class, he started speaking Spanish again to his friend and was told again not to speak Spanish on the way to class. About 45 minutes later, he was sent back to the office by his teacher for speaking Spanish to a classmate in a classroom. Zach was then told to call his father because he was suspended from school for the rest of the day and on Tuesday for non-compliance. A "reasonable" request to not speak Spanish at school, signed by Jennifer Watts, the principal of the school, was written on a disciplinary referral dated Monday.

In addition to the reason for suspension, Watts also wrote, "This is not the first time we have asked Zach and others to not speak Spanish at school."

Zach, a junior at the Endeaver school, an alternative school in the district, is American born and proficient in English and Spanish. He said he often speaks Spanish to his friends, in his home when they come over to play video games, at the mall, and places outside of school.

Allen said he was told by Watts that Zach was being disruptive and it is important that the teachers be able to communicate and know what the students are saying. He said there are programs in place for staff at Turner that focus on cultural and ethnic sensitivities and he has spoken to staff about what is acceptable conduct at the school. He did not say why Watts has not complied.

Foreign languages is a required course at the school, Swartz said. In fact, the school offers French and Spanish to its students.