PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Dom Giordano talked with Tony Diaz, a radio host from Houston, on Tuesday on Talk Radio 1210 WPHT about a school principal who was removed after she warned students not to speak Spanish.
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Last week, the Hempstead School Board, located in a suburb of Houston, voted not to renew the contract of Amy Lacey after a December incident where she announced over the school’s intercom system that Spanish was not to be spoken on school grounds.
Diaz says attempting to ban students from speaking their native language is like returning to a previous era that sanctioned discrimination.
“To ban Spanish, especially in Texas, that’s like retro-racism. There’s a whole generation of Mexican Americans who don’t speak Spanish because their parents were so discriminated against that [they were told] ‘to succeed you better learn English, and you get punished if you speak Spanish, so we’re not teaching you Spanish,’” he said.
He believes that the native Spanish speakers are trying to learn English, and there’s no need to prohibit them from using Spanish while at school.
“I don’t know any immigrants who don’t want to learn English. I know many. The typical job of a young child of a family of first generation Americans — like my parents, they were new to this country. My job was to learn English and translate quickly. I know immigrants who work so hard that they can’t buy courses; they don’t have time to study. I know immigrants who have been humiliated because of their accents,” Diaz stated.