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December 09, 2005
No Hablo Espanol

Kansas is at it again, struggling hard to maintain their new reputation as the Stupidest State In the Union.

This time a Kansas school has suspended a student for making a casual remark in Spanish while he was standing in the school's hallway.

" No problema," he said.

Anyone here who hasn't used the same phrase themselves at one time or another?

No word on whether or not the other Spanish-speaking student involved in the conversation will be facing disciplinary action.

Or, you know, be hauled off by the English Only cops, to be held incommunicado for a few years until he's no longer considered a terrorist threat to society.

Posted by AnneZook at 11:27 AM


I am speechless! Is this some kind of a hoax?

Posted by: Bengt O. at December 9, 2005 03:20 PM

I could teach them a lot more Spanish. I'm such a troublemaker.

Posted by: Walter at December 9, 2005 04:12 PM

I got detention for speaking Japanese once.... it was at the American school in Nagoya, and the rule was "no Japanese outside of Japanese class" because the bread and butter of the school was Japanese students whose parents wanted them to learn English.

Humorlessness is a universal constant.

Posted by: Jonathan Dresner at December 9, 2005 06:02 PM

Please folks. I'm sure in the course of working in either public education or other government institutions you've run into over zealous administrators who implement their personal interpretation of policy as opposed to what's written. Jonathan, wasn't there an issue with an adjunct offering a course at Center for Hawaiian Studies that perhaps offered a different perspective than the position of many at CHS and the UH administration?

If you read the whole story, you note

Rubio then called the superintendent of the Turner Unified School District, which operates the school. The district immediately rescinded Zach's suspension, local media reported.

So, someone with more common sense and recognition of what is policy took immediate and corrective action. That is how the system works.

Did you not read that far into the story Anne?

Since then, the issue of speaking Spanish in the hall has not been raised at the school, Zach said. "I know it would be, like, disruptive if I answered in Spanish in the classroom. I totally don't do that. But outside of class now, the teachers are like, 'Whatever.' "

From this statement, my impression is the bias is not prevalent in the school, just perhaps with one person.

For Zach's father, and for the Hispanic organizations that have expressed concern, the suspension is not a closed case. "Obviously they've violated his civil rights," said Chuck Chionuma, a lawyer in Kansas City, Mo., who is representing the Rubio family. "We're studying what form of legal redress will correct the situation."

Of course, Kansas is not immune from lawyers looking to exploit any situation to make a buck..that's what I thought was the real outrage in the story...

Posted by: Col Steve at December 16, 2005 08:16 AM

Col Steve - Of course I read the entire article.

The fact that the district rescinded the suspension doesn't change the fact that there was clearly a policy, and one supported by more than one person working in the school, that made speaking Spanish a criminal offense.

It's bigotry, pure and simple.

Posted by: Anne at December 16, 2005 09:50 PM