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Catholic school sued for requiring students to speak English

What assimilation?

Four Wichita families filed a discrimination lawsuit Monday in federal court against St. Anne Catholic School over a policy that requires English to be spoken at all times during the school day.

The lawsuit calls for an end to St. Anne's policy, an order barring English-only or similar policies at other diocese schools and $75,000 for court and other costs.

The families want students to be able to speak other languages if they choose during their free time -- not in the classroom or during instructional times.

A diocese spokesman called the discrimination suit "unfortunate," saying the Catholic church has a history of offering support and services to minorities and of speaking out for immigrant rights.

But one of the parents behind the suit said he's concerned that the English-only policy could spread.

"I think if one school is granted their wish by not allowing their students to speak another language, then other schools will follow suit," said Michael Silva.

St. Anne's language policy has been in effect since September.

The lawsuit claims that the policy "has created and continues to promote racial and national origin discrimination.. "

Diocese spokesman Fred Solis said he cannot agree with the discrimination claim.

"We have to disagree with the notion that the church, or the diocese or St. Anne for that matter is or has discriminated against any member of a minority group given our history, and the many ways that, even today, we go about to speak out on behalf of immigrants, minorities and the many services we offer to those groups of people," he said.

The school, its principal, Sister Margaret Nugent, the parish and the Catholic Diocese of Wichita are named defendants in the lawsuit.

Initially, I thought that it was a little strange to ban other languages during free time. What's the point of that?, I wondered.

And then I saw this little nugget:

The diocese has said the school enacted the policy in response to four students who were using Spanish to bully others and to put down teachers and administrators.


The students' first language also is English, not Spanish. So what's the problem here? It isn't like these students can't understand English.

Like the school's policy or not, here's the kicker -- it's a private school. Any funding the school receives goes to its students, not the school itself. So that school, as far as I'm concerned, can make whatever policies they want. They can require students to speak only in Pig Latin for all I care. If you don't like it, you're welcome to take your children elsewhere.

And of course, it won't matter how the rest of the student population and their families feel about the English-only policy. They could all support it, but if a few minority families change, we have to buckle under to please them. Isn't that how it works nowadays?

Hat Tip: Moonbattery


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Comments (20)

After all these years, we s... (Below threshold)

After all these years, we still have no tort reform. It is almost like the politicians it this way.

I'm not a lawyer but I woul... (Below threshold)

I'm not a lawyer but I would have a very hard time defending the diocese's position. One example would be for students that may be taking a foreign language in this school. In my secondary education a foreign language was a requirement depending upon one's educational track. At a certain level of proficiency you were expected to speak only the foreign language in that class. Since my parents did not speak the foreign language and grades depended on writing and speaking proficiency, in our "free time" we would practice speaking to each other. I would consider this studying in my free time. No different than a study group for any other subject.

Also, ytou write:
"Like the school's policy or not, here's the kicker -- it's a private school. Any funding the school receives goes to its students, not the school itself."
I am having trouble making sense of this statement.

It seems to me that it woul... (Below threshold)

It seems to me that it would have been easier for the school to kick out the kids who were bullying other students and putting down teachers and administrators, regardless of the language that the bullies were speaking. Would the behavior have been acceptable if the kids spoke English? Is the problem the behavior or the fact that the kids were speaking Spanish?

"I think if one school i... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

"I think if one school is granted their wish by not allowing their students to speak another language, then other schools will follow suit," said Michael Silva.

Yes, that would be horrible... Everyone communicating and able to understand each other...

Liberalism (aka the entire ... (Below threshold)

Liberalism (aka the entire cowardly democrat party) is killing the country and everyone in it. The only good thing is cowards are always the first to die.
Hussein O uses his I'm black (he's not) rants and the democrats are on their knees kissing his butt or worse when he's facing them. Total failure of the country will result when 50% of the population are cowards and anti-americans while living in America. It's happening today. The democrats in congress have driven oil prices sky high through their ignorance but drag in the oil companies to try and put the blame on them. Anyone with an IQ above freezing temp knows better, but every democrat will lie about it and nod their head in agreement. Name one democrat that will publically put the blame on the democrats in congress where it belongs. Cowards one and all, through and through. I just read some comments on another blog where people are ready for armed revolt, when they put it in writing they are deadly serious. Think it can't and won't happen in this country. We are no different than other humans, you push us to far and they fight back will come out strong. I think that point is near if things don't change.
Remember, "you will not be able to drive your SUV, eat all you want or heat/cool your home to 72 degrees year round". Hussein Obama Osama. "We're going to take from you and give to others". Shrillary Clinton/Michele (big mouth) Obama Osama. Notice the pattern of 'working Americans lose'?

This is another attempt of ... (Below threshold)
Proud American:

This is another attempt of Hispanic agenda to have everyone speak Spanish.

You notice the American Asians and Blacks didn't have any issue speaking only English!

These kids parents are part of RACISTS movement to change to American to LATIN AMERICA or LA RAZA.

Sorry, this is America and we SPEAK ENGLISH and if a private School says English ONLY then that's it.

The parents are more then welcome to leave America and move to Mexico and speak all the Spanish they want.

What is wrong with these pe... (Below threshold)

What is wrong with these people? This is the United States of America - WE SPEAK ENGLISH! Whatever happened to assimilation? When my grandfather LEGALLY immigrated he learned English,
he didn't make unreasonable demands of his new country. Wake up citizens - if you're not angry - you're not paying attention!

This is a PRIVATE school, n... (Below threshold)

This is a PRIVATE school, not public. They can have whatever rules they want. If you do not like the rules, go somewhere else.

DaveDTrying to make ... (Below threshold)

Trying to make it sound like they were learning a language is such B.S. I sure the school has exceptions for language classes and such.

The issue is many Spanish speakers use it to try to be sneaky. They will call teachers whores, S.O.B. and such right to their face. My brother when he was a public teacher several years ago had this happen to him several times. I have two other brothers who are fluent in Spanish and have been subject to similar treatment. Speaking in Spanish is fine but speaking about someone in front of them because they believe don't understand Spanish is just being a low life.

This is an example of what ... (Below threshold)

This is an example of what happens when you have you have too many lawyers with nothing to do.....frivilous law suits. When are we going to put a stop to it!!

It's a Catholic school. Mak... (Below threshold)

It's a Catholic school. Make them learn to speak Latin as a punishment.

The real reason behind the ... (Below threshold)

The real reason behind the bullies hiring lawyers is that they raised... bullies.

This is white supremacy at ... (Below threshold)
Michael Perry:

This is white supremacy at its finest. I don't understand something, so instead of learning I forbid you to do it. When Africans were brought to this country the were forbidden under threats of death to speak any African language. Native American children were taken from their families to be forced to assimilate. If they spoke their indigenous (sp?) language they were severely punished. This was done to control people and limit their power. The more things change the more they stay the same.

So the prohibition in some ... (Below threshold)

So the prohibition in some public schools of the use of gang signs and wearing gang colors is a sign of white supremacy since not everyone understands it. Give me a break. The reason the school prohibited the use of Spanish was because of disciplinary purposes since there was a history of the students using it in an obscene manner. It is as reasonable as prohibiting the use of secret gestures if those secret gesture have a history of being used in an obscene manner. White supremacy! What a reach!

Wayne,I agree with y... (Below threshold)

I agree with you - I think my comment is an extreme exception. I think I am pretty conservative when I look at my voting record, but geez this smacks of the type of social engineering I have found to be a consistent part of liberal public policy. If there is no resistance form students or parents to exclusive use of English in the formal setting of the classroom, who the heck cares if two kids are talking Spanish at recess or between classes at their lockers. The diocese is fretting over a very trivial matter.

Kick the little Spanish spe... (Below threshold)
Piso Mojado:

Kick the little Spanish speaking assholes out. Let them go to government school where they can speak all spanglish they want. Goverment school teachers don't care anyway.

Dave DThe rule stem ... (Below threshold)

Dave D
The rule stem from the improper use of Spanish to bully. As I stated earlier many use Spanish to throw insults and talk disrespectable about others including toward teachers. Anyone who has ever gone to a Catholic school knows they tend to be much more discipline than public schools. I sure the school wouldn't care if all the students did was talk sports or small talk when they used Spanish. In my experience the ones who speak fluent English then suddenly start speaking Spanish in front of you are hiding something.

It's school, what free time... (Below threshold)

It's school, what free time do these kids have? Last I checked, the school retains control over them for the entire school day.

My daughter worked at a gro... (Below threshold)

My daughter worked at a grocery store where the mix of employees was about 60-40 Mexican to American. (I am not using Hispanic here because they demanded that they not be called Hispanic, "we are proud Mexicans" they would say) When she started the the Spanish speaking employees were already using the language to insult the non-Spanish speakers. After a while, and after the ringleader got her green card, the insults started in English. When my daughter finally quit the store was 100% Mexican illegal and legal immigrant. Immigration, both legal and illegal, hurts lots of Americans, it is just not politically correct to acknowledge this.

Wayne,Here's where... (Below threshold)
Michael Perry:


Here's where you are wrong. Gang signs and colors are used to promote criminal activity and violence. These children are using culture and language in a rude manner. The problem is not the spanish language, but the children's lack of respect for others. The simple solution would be to hire spanish speaking staff who could monitor and correct the children's behavior. The United States is one of the few countries in the world whose citizens are monolingual, and unfortunately they are proud of this. I know many people who have immigrated to this country and speak four or more languages fluently. American students are among the least educated of all the industialized nations, and yes, white supremacist attitudes are a major reason for it.






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