Principal Fired for Trying to Keep Students from Speaking Spanish

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A Texas principal will be losing her job after imposing a "no speaking Spanish" rule for students.

According to the Houston Chronicle, Hempstead Middle School Principal Amy Lacey reportedly made an announcement in November 2013, via intercom, that students were not to speak Spanish while at school. With more than 50 percent of those enrolled at Hempstead being Hispanic and having Spanish as their first language, students and the community were outraged.

Lacey has been on paid administrative leave since December and on Monday the Hempstead School Board voted so that her contract would not be renewed.

“When you start banning aspects of ethnicity or cultural identity, it sends the message that the child is not wanted,” Augustin Pinedo, director of the League of United Latin American Citizens Region 18 told the Houston Chronicle. “‘We don’t want your color. We don’t want your kind.’ They tend to drop out early.”

But while many were not happy with the principal's decision, others supported it.

“I support the principal,” parent Jaime Cavendar said to KHOU. “I really believe she did the right thing. My children don’t know if they’re being talked about or being made fun of.”

The Houston Chronicle reports that LULAC and the Mexican American Legal Defense Fund have asked the Department of Justice to open a civil rights violation investigation.

"The whole world is watching," said Tony Diaz, head of the Houston-based radio show Nuestra Palabra and founder of the advocacy group Librotraficantes, according to the Houston Chronicle. "Banning Spanish is a national issue."

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